Gottschalks Inc. same store sales for the month of March decreased 15.4% from the prior year. Total sales for the month decreased 16.6% to $49.1 million compared to $58.9 million in the same period of fiscal 2007. On a year-to-date basis, same store sales decreased 12.9% from the same period of the prior year. Total sales for the year-to-date period decreased 14.5% to $86.8 million compared to $101.5 million for the same period of fiscal 2007. The company operated one less store for the month and the year-to-date period compared to the same periods in fiscal 2007.
Jim Famalette, chairman and chief executive officer of Gottschalks said, “As anticipated, our sales results continue to be negatively impacted by persistent challenges in the macroeconomic environment, as weak housing trends and high gas prices are particularly affecting the western states in which we operate. In addition, we were also comping against our strongest sales month in 2007 and an earlier Easter this year resulted in one less selling day for the month compared to the same period of 2007. However, we continued to prudently manage our inventory levels and ended the month with 6.7% less comparable store inventory than the same period last year. During this challenging time, we remain focused on executing our cost containment program and key strategic initiatives designed to improve our long-term operational and financial performance.”