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Bon-Ton Encouraged by Sales

YORK, PA. - Several new merchandising initiatives in store and online along with the recent revamp of its ecommerce site had much to do with The Bon-Ton Stores Inc.'s improvement in sales and comp performances in the fourth quarter and fiscal 2012.
     "We launched our website as a home goods site," explained Brendan Hoffman, president and ceo, during the regional department store chain's conference call last week. "But we're now seeing tremendous growth in other categories like apparel and the margins and repeat business that they can bring to us on our ecommerce side."
     In the 14-week quarter, which ended Feb. 2, net income fell 4.9% to $74.4 million, or $3.71 per share. Sales rose 3.2% to $1.0 billion. Samestore sales inched up 1.0%.
     For the full fiscal 2012, net loss widened to $21.6 million, or $1.16 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $12.1 million, or $0.67 per diluted share, in 2011.
     Sales for the year were up 1.2% increase to $2.9 billion, with comp up 0.5%

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