Gottschalks Inc. announced that same store sales for the month of February 2003 decreased by 1.6% from the prior year. Total sales for the month decreased by 3.1% to $43.3 million from $44.7 million in February 2002. The decrease in total sales was partially due to the closure of four stores since the comparable period in fiscal 2002.
Jim Famalette, president and chief executive officer of Gottschalks said, “Our sales for the month were near our expectations. Several merchandise categories performed very strongly in February, including juniors, women’s accessories, special sizes and children’s. Our inventory at the start of March was 2% below last year’s level for the same period. We expect to increase our turns and operate with a reduced inventory level during the first quarter of this year. In light of the economic environment, we anticipate that March sales results will trend in a similar range to February.”