Bon-Ton advances in Q1
Retail Editor 3 -- Home Textiles Today, May 23, 2013
York, Pa. - Despite headwinds from unseasonably cold weather, Bon-Ton Stores managed modest increases in sales and comps as well as a narrower net loss during its first quarter.
Net loss shrank to $26.6 million, or $1.41 per diluted share, compared with the company's net loss of $40.8 million, or $2.23 per diluted share, a year ago.
Comparable store sales for the three months increased 1.2% over last year, and total sales inched up 1.0% to $646.9 million.
Other good news stemming from the quarter, which ended May 4: gross margin rate increased 57 basis points to 34.8%, compared with 34.3% last year; and operating loss decreased $11.4 million to $7.1 million, over an operating loss of $18.5 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2012.
Brendan Hoffman, president and ceo of the 272-unit regional department store chain, said enhancements to the e-commerce business again yielded double-digit sales growth "while we saw increased penetration of proprietary credit card sales due to concentrated efforts to drive this business. Our gross margin rate benefited from a better balanced merchandise mix and a more effective markdown strategy."
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