by Stephen Garner


The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. has released its comparable store sales for the nine-week holiday period ending January 2, reporting a decrease of 1.6 percent. Total sales for the combined months of November and December were $784.4 million, a decrease of 1.5 percent from sales of $796.4 million in the prior year nine-week holiday period.

“We saw a significant improvement in holiday sales following soft selling trends during an unseasonably warm November,” said president and CEO Kathryn Bufano. “The rebound began with a successful Black Friday event and extended through the month of December. We also drove double-digit sales growth in our omni-channel operations, successfully leveraging our new West Jefferson facility and store-fulfillment network. The decrease in sales of cold-weather merchandise, in fact, exceeded increases we otherwise achieved in non-seasonal merchandise categories. That said, overall we are pleased to see the traction we are gaining on some of our merchandising initiatives and will remain focused on continued execution while prudently managing our inventory levels and expenses.”

Bon-Ton will provide additional details on March 15, 2016 when it reports its results for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2015 periods ending January 30, 2016.