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Retail Briefs

ShopKo Posts Mixed Numbers

ShopKo Stores, Inc. reported net income for the second quarter was up 39 percent, to $11.5 million from $8.3 million last year. However, consolidated sales decreased 5 percent, to $737 million from $775.6 million a year ago. Consolidated comps were also down — 5.6 percent.

For the first half of the year, consolidated sales were down 4.7 percent, to $1.4 billion, from $1.5 billion last year. Though sales were down, net income for the six months more than doubled — to $12.2 million from $5.9 million the prior year.

Bon-Ton Sees Weakness in Home

Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. reported a net loss of $1.4 million for the second quarter compared to a net loss of $388,000 last year, due largely to weakness in home.

Weakness in home was “primarily due to a decrease in sales of clearance goods as compared to the prior year,” said James Baireuther, vice chairman and chief administrative officer. “This has greatly affected our business, as home sales represented 19 percent of total sales last year.”

Sales for the quarter decreased 3.5 percent, to $274.3 million from $284.2 million a year ago. Comps decreased 3 percent.

Big Lots Widens Loss

Big Lots, Inc. reported a net loss for the second quarter of $13.8 million compared with a net loss of $7.7 million last year.

The $13.8 million figure included an after-tax charge of $3.8 million related to KB Toys, a former subsidiary of the company. Without the charge, the second quarter net loss in fiscal 2005 was $9.9 million.

Net sales for the second quarter were up 5.6 percent, to $1.05 billion from $995 million last year. Comps for stores open two years at the beginning of the fiscal year increased 0.2 percent.

Dillard's Numbers Improve

Dillard's, Inc. reported a net loss for the second quarter of $12.3 million, a marked improvement against last year's loss of $26 million.

The company stated that the improvement was attributable to positive comps, improved gross margin performance, decreased advertising, selling, general and administrative expenses and decreased interest expense.

Net sales for the period were up 1 percent, to $1.69 billion from $1.67 billion a year ago. Comps also improved 1 percent.

Lowe's Ups Net Earnings

Lowe's Companies reported net earnings for its second quarter rose 19.7 percent, to $838 million from $700 million last year. Sales for the quarter increased 17.3 percent, to $11.9 billion from $10.2 billion last year; while comp-store sales improved 6.5 percent

For the six months ended July 29, net earnings grew 24 percent, to $1.4 billion from $1.2 billion a year ago. Sales for the six-month period increased 15.9 percent, to $21.8 billion $18.9 billion last year. Comps for the period increased 5.2 percent.

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