The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. announced sales for the five weeks ended April 5, 2003 decreased 9.0% to $54.3 million versus $59.7 million reported for the prior year period. Comparable store sales for the month decreased 8.4%.

Year-to-date sales decreased 7.1% to $93.7 million from $100.8 million for the same period last year. Year-to-date comparable store sales decreased 6.5% from the prior year period.

James H. Baireuther, Vice Chairman and Chief Administrative Officer, commented, “Despite expecting lower sales due to the calendar shift of the Easter holiday this year, we are nonetheless disappointed with our performance. In addition to the calendar change, unseasonably cold weather in the Northeast and uncertainties connected with the war in Iraq impacted March sales. As a result, consumer demand remains soft and the retail environment very competitive. We will continue our aggressive promotional activity as a means to gain market share, while managing our expenses and receipts and improving inventory turnover.”