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Bon-Ton Narrows Q2 Loss

Posted on August 21, 2014 by HFN Staff

Bon-TonYORK, Pa.-The Bon-Ton Stores reported a second-quarter net loss of $36.2 million, compared to a net loss of $37.3 million in the second quarter of last year.

Net sales for the regional department-store chain were up 1.1 percent to $563.5 million, including a gain of 1.6 percent in same-store sales. Brendan Hoffman, Bon-Ton's outgoing president and CEO, said the company was able to manage same-store sales growth in spite of "the challenging promotional environment and continuation of soft traffic trends. E-commerce delivered another strong quarter driven primarily by increased conversion."

Hoffman will be succeeded by Kathryn Bufano, previously president and chief merchandising officer for Belk Inc., this coming Monday, Aug. 25. Hoffman said Bufano "comes in with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the retail industry which we believe will be beneficial as we continue to execute our business strategies for profitable growth."

Gross margin for the quarter, which ended on Aug. 2, declined by 32 basis points to 38.2 percent, primarily due to increased net markdowns and delivery costs. Selling, general and administrative expenses rose 2.2 percent in dollars and 130 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 38.3 percent. The SG&A increase stemmed from increased advertising expenditures and implementation costs.

Looking ahead, Bon-Ton has projected an increase of 1 to 2 percent in same store sales for the full fiscal year.