Bon-Ton Stores says November sales dipped

Bon-Ton November sales slip after superstorm; company says holiday season sales are strong

Associated Press

YORK, Pa. (AP) -- The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. said Thursday that its sales decreased in November as Superstorm Sandy hurt its results.

Bon-Ton said the effects of the enormous storm reduced its sales early in the month, but its business later recovered. The company said it did good business on Black Friday, Nov. 23, and its early holiday-season sales are better in 2012 than they were in 2011.

During the four weeks ended Nov. 24, sales fell 0.8 percent to $301.3 million. Sales at locations open at least a year dipped 0.1 percent. Sales at stores open at least a year are considered an important measurement of retailer health because they exclude results from stores that have opened or closed within the last year.

The company said it has received "record online orders" since Thanksgiving. Sales of ready-to-wear clothes were strong. Other categories that performed well included fine jewelry, cosmetics, accessories, men's and cold weather clothes. Most of those sales will be reflected in the company's December results.

Bon-Ton operates 273 department stores in 24 states. Its shares closed at $12.03 on Wednesday and have traded between $2.23 and $14.99 in the last year.

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