York, PA, November 7, 2002 -- The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ: BONT) today announced total and comparable store sales for the four weeks ended November 2, 2002 increased 4.6% to $58.9 million versus $56.3 million reported in the same period last year.
For the third quarter, total and comparable store sales decreased 4.6% to $167.5 million from $175.6 million reported in the comparable last year period. Year-to-date total and comparable store sales decreased 0.9% to $471.9 million from $476.2 million reported in the prior year.
James H. Baireuther, Vice Chairman and Chief Administrative Officer, commented, "We are pleased with our October sales results as it represents a significant improvement over the trend of the past several months. It also reflects an increase over a double digit sales increase last year. More seasonable weather and a shift of a cosmetics event from September last year into October this year helped October sales. Along with cosmetics, better performing areas included accessories, shoes and home, all of which had increases above Company average. We are well positioned for the holiday selling season with a fresh, full merchandise assortment and inventory levels consistent with plan."
Third quarter 2002 financial results will be released Thursday, November 21, 2002. The Company's quarterly conference call to discuss the third quarter of 2002 will be broadcast live over the Internet on November 21, 2002 at 10:00 a.m. eastern time. To access the call, please visit the investor relations section of the Company's website at www.bonton.com. An online archive of the broadcast will be available within one hour after the conclusion of the call.
The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. operates 73 department stores in targeted markets in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and West Virginia. The stores carry a broad assortment of quality, brand-name fashion apparel and accessories for women, men and children, as well as distinctive home furnishings.
Statements made in this press release, other than statements of historical information, are forward looking statements and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in these statements. Factors that could cause such differences include, but are not limited to, risks related to retail businesses generally, additional competition from existing and new competitors, uncertainties associated with opening new stores or expanding or remodeling existing stores, the Company's presence in and dependence on limited geographic markets, the ability to attract and retain qualified management, the dependence upon key vendor relationships and the ability to obtain financing for working capital, capital expenditures and general corporate purposes. Additional factors that could cause the Company's actual results to differ from those contained in these forward looking statements are discussed in greater detail in the Company's periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.