The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. reported comparable store sales for the five weeks ended Oct., 2011 decreased 3.6 percent. Total sales decreased 4.1 percent to $286.9 million compared with $299.2 million for the prior year period.

Year-to-date comparable store sales decreased 2.1 percent. Year-to-date total sales decreased 2.7 percent to $1,709.4 million compared with $1,756.3 million for the same period last year.

Tony Buccina, Vice Chairman and President – Merchandising, commented, “Although our comparable stores sales performance did not meet our expectations, our strategic initiatives of footwear expansions, increased penetration of updated merchandise, and pilot store renovations with the 're-discover' branding in those markets gained traction. Best performing businesses were cosmetics, shoes, hard home and men's furnishings. Additionally, our move to more updated moderate merchandise in our missy, women’s and petite sportswear was well received by our customers. Poor performing businesses were furniture, traditional ladies’ sportswear and intimate apparel.”

Buccina continued, “We also experienced lower sell-throughs on selected ladies’ and men's apparel where cost increases had resulted in higher retail prices. We will remain diligent in our pricing to achieve planned rates of sales. The freshness of our inventory is consistent with the prior year.”

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.