Comparable store sales for The Elder-Beerman Stores Corp. decreased 1.6 percent for the five weeks ending January 4, 2003, compared to the five weeks ending January 5, 2002. Total store sales were $117.3 million for the five weeks, a decrease of 1.4 percent versus the same period last year.

On a comparable store basis, the best performing businesses in December were ladies accessories, outerwear, intimate apparel, men’s furnishings, cosmetics and all home store classifications.

Year to date comparable store sales for the 48 week period ending January 4, 2003 decreased 2.7 percent. Total store sales for the year to date period were $612.2 million, a 0.7 percent decrease versus last year.