YORK, Pa.-Bon-Ton Stores posted a second-quarter net loss of $32.3 million, compared with the $33.7 million loss it reported in the second quarter of last year.
The department store retailer diluted its red ink with a reduction of 2 percent, in dollars, in selling, general and administrative expenses and a more favorable tax benefit compared to last year. SG&A as a percentage of sales increased by eight basis points to 36.9 percent, while gross margin narrowed by 92 basis points to 37.2 percent.
Net sales fell 2.2 percent to $595.5 million in the quarter, which ended on July 30, and which included a drop of 1.5 percent in same-store sales. Commenting that sales and gross margin “did not perform to the desired levels,” Bud Bergren, Bon-Ton’s president and CEO, added, “We made adjustments to our merchandise assortment that we believe will yield improved performance in the second half of the year.” These include updated fashions and the launch of two new brands in apparel—John Bartlett for men and Mambo for young men and boys.
Bon-Ton is now projecting that same-store sales for all of its fiscal year will finish flat to 1 percent higher than the previous fiscal year.