The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. announced total and comparable store sales for the five weeks ended January 4, 2003 increased 1.3% to $135.3 million versus $133.7 million reported in the same period last year.

Year-to-date total and comparable store sales decreased 1.6% to $681.2 million compared to $692.3 million reported in the same period last year.

James H. Baireuther, Vice Chairman and Chief Administrative Officer, commented, “December sales were encouraging as we recovered part of the November shortfall, although not as much as expected. The compressed holiday season did not create the level of expected buying intensity in December and intermittent winter storms negatively impacted sales. We are pleased that our December comparable store sales increased over last year and expect this will continue into the spring selling season. Our inventory investment remains below last year levels and consistent with plan. The retail environment remains very price competitive, therefore, our promotional efforts will continue to reflect exceptional value in order to meet our customer’s needs.”