Stage Stores, Inc. reported that its total sales for the four-week October period ended October 31 increased 2.9% to $101 million from $99 million in the prior year four week period ended November 1, 2008. Comparable store sales decreased 0.1% this year versus a decrease of 8.4% last year.

Dresses, footwear, intimates, juniors and men’s achieved comparable store sales increases during October. Misses sportswear performed at the company average. The Southwest, South Central and Southeast regions achieved comparable store sales increases for the month.

For the third quarter ended October 31, 2009, the company reported that total sales decreased 2.6% to $325 million from $334 million last year. Comparable store sales for the quarter decreased 5.4% versus a decrease of 10.3% in the prior year period.

Andy Hall, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are pleased with October’s results and that the sales trend improved month–to-month as the third quarter progressed. All but one of our fourteen families of business had a comparable store sales trend improvement in October versus August and September. Our Fall merchandise and outerwear categories performed very well throughout the quarter. Reduced clearance levels throughout the third quarter were a significant drain on sales and accounted for most of the comparable store sales drop for the three month period.”

Mr. Hall continued, “With sales for the third quarter within our guidance range, and reduced clearance levels contributing to a strong gross margin performance, we expect to report a loss for the third quarter of $0.21 or $0.22 per share versus our guidance of a $0.21 to $0.29 loss per share.”

During October, the company opened a new Bealls store in Vernal, UT. For the third quarter, the company opened a total of sixteen new stores and closed one store. The company plans to open its final store for 2009 during November.