Stage Stores, Inc. reported sales for the month of April increased 3.8% to $106.5 million from $102.6 million last year. Comparable store sales decreased 1.0% this year versus a decrease of 14.8% last year.
The company noted that its cosmetics, children’s, and footwear categories achieved comparable store sales increases during April, posting gains of 20.3%, 4.8%, and 2.2%, respectively. Conversely, comparable store sales from the feminine side of the business were below the company average for the month. By region of the country, the company achieved comparable store sales increases in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic of 8.0% and 3.1%, respectively, while the Southeast was the weakest performing region.

Jim Scarborough, chairman and CEO, commented, “Despite the currently challenging macroeconomic conditions, our comparable store sales during the first two weeks of April were strong, reflecting the beneficial impact of one additional open-for-business day vs. last year’s calendar, generally more favorable weather patterns, and easier comparisons to last year. Unfortunately, our sales softened during the final two weeks of the month, offsetting our first half gains and leading to an overall 1.0% comp decline for the month.”

For the first quarter, the company reported that total sales decreased 1.3% to $353.5 million from $358.2 million last year. Comparable store sales for the quarter decreased 5.4% versus an increase of 0.1% for the same period last year.

Mr. Scarborough concluded, “We continue to expect to report earnings of between $0.05 and $0.08 per diluted share for the first quarter.”