Men’s Aids Bon-Ton May Bounce

by MR Magazine Staff

NEW YORK – A strong performance by men’s apparel helped The Bon-Ton Stores rebound from a dismal April with a same-store sales gain for the merry month of May.

The York, Pa.-based department store group said Tuesday that its same-store sales picked up 1.2% in the four weeks ended June 2 as a 4.9% gain at Carson’s helped overcome a 5.3% decline at Bon-Ton. On a net basis, sales were up 1% to $234.7 million from $232.3 million a year ago.

Anthony Buccina, vice chairman and president of merchandising, cited men’s apparel, better missy, moderate and special size sportswear and juniors as the strongest merchandising areas. Children’s, shoes and intimate apparel were described as good, while fashion accessories, cosmetics and furniture were cited as the weakest classifications.

“We are pleased to report that our apparel areas rebounded after a disappointing April,” commented Buccina.

In April, same-store sales declined 13.4% as unseasonably cool weather and disadvantageous calendar shifts depleted revenues.

Buccina pointed out that the conversion of Carson’s stores to the assortment of Bon-Ton and its Elder-Beerman stores began in May 2006, and the resulting liquidation sales inflated the company’s sales “from late May until early into the third quarter.”

Year-to-date sales at Bon-Ton are up 22.4% to $972.3 million, helped by the addition of Carson’s stores. Bon-Ton’s same-store sales for the February-to-May period are down 3.7%.