Bon-Ton Sees Holiday Sales Slip

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

Kathryn Bufano, president and CEO, said, “We saw a significant improvement in holiday sales following soft selling trends during an unseasonably warm November. 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 omnichannel operations, successfully leveraging our new West Jefferson facility and store-fulfillment network.”

She added, “Based on current sales trends, we are maintaining our full-year adjusted EBITDA guidance of a range of $110 million to $120 million, exclusive of implementation costs associated with planned expense reductions in fiscal 2016. We expect to be at the low end of this range given the higher level of promotional activity, particularly in seasonal goods. 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.”

The company will report its full results for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2015 periods on March 15.

Bon-Ton Stores operates 270 stores, which includes nine furniture galleries and four clearance centers, in 26 states under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers nameplates.