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Alco Stores key sales trend down in November

ABILENE, Kan. (AP) -- Alco Stores Inc. reported Thursday that a key sales trend fell 1.7 percent in November.

The retailer said that its revenue from stores open at least a year, excluding fuel, fell for the four-week period that ended Nov. 25. This is considered a key indicator of financial performance as it strips away the impact of recently opened or closed stores. That same measure fell 1.3 percent for the year to date.

Alco said that its sales from continuing operations, also excluding fuel, increased 2.7 percent for the month and 1.8 percent for the year.

President and CEO Rich Wilson said it is a good start to the holiday season that reflects the contribution of its newer stores.

Alco sold more holiday season items during the month, primarily toys, electronics, housewares and others. Its declining clothing sales took a toll on its revenue figures.

The company, based in Abilene, Kan., is a broad-line retailer that operates primarily in small, underserved communities across 23 states. Shares of the company added 9 cents to $10 in morning trading.