Bon-Ton Reports Slight Decline In Q2 Comp Sales

Second quarter sales at The Bon-Ton were down slightly as the department store retailer also reported a decrease in comparable store sales for the quarter ended August 1.

Total sales for the quarter decreased 1.4% to $555.4 million, compared with $563.5 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2014. Comparable store sales decreased 1.3%.

Company officials also reported double-digit sales growth in e-commerce in the period, primarily due to a higher conversion rate and increased transaction size. The sales performance in the company’s small and mid-tier stores continued to outpace its larger locations.

Net loss in the second quarter of fiscal 2015 was $39.6 million, or $2.01 per diluted share, compared with net loss of $36.2 million, or $1.86 per diluted share, in the second quarter of fiscal 2014.

“While our second quarter sales results were challenged, we saw meaningful improvement in our gross margin rate and effectively managed expenses, enabling us to achieve adjusted EBITDA in line with that of last year,” said Kathryn Bufano, Bon-Ton president and CEO. “Sales were pressured by unseasonably cool weather, which impacted our seasonal classifications, and by weakness in overall traffic trends.”

Bufano added that the company has improved sales in certain core categories and its private label business.

Bon-Ton operates 270 stores, which includes nine furniture galleries and four clearance centers, in 26 states.