The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. announced comparable store sales for the four weeks ended Aug. 27, 2011 decreased 4.7 percent. Total sales decreased 5.4 percent to $177.1 million for the four weeks compared with $187.2 million for the prior year period.

Year-to-date comparable store sales decreased 1.8 percent. Year-to-date total sales decreased 2.4 percent to $1,422.5 million compared with $1,457.1 million for the same period last year.

Tony Buccina, vice chairman and president – merchandising, commented, “In this transitional month in which we continued to convert our merchandise to the new updated mix, our best performing businesses were cosmetics, with solid gains in all categories of treatment and fragrance; better sportswear; intimate apparel; watches and updated shoes. We were pleased with the favorable customer response to our expanded shoe assortments in 17 locations, which gives us confidence that shoes will be a key driver of fall sales. Our eCommerce business posted strong sales gains. Tougher businesses continue to be the moderate traditional areas. Back-to-school started off slowly with juniors, children's and young men's below last year's sales. We begin September with inventories well positioned in support of merchandise initiatives we believe will drive top line sales in the second half.”

Buccina continued, “We believe there was a negative impact on our eastern stores from Hurricane Irene, however, it is difficult to quantify the lost sales caused by the disruption to our customers' shopping patterns.”

The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., with corporate headquarters in York, Pennsylvania and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, operates 275 department stores, which includes 11 furniture galleries, in 23 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Bergner's, Boston Store, Carson Pirie Scott, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's and Younkers nameplates and, in the Detroit, Michigan area, under the Parisian nameplate.