CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cato Corporation (CATO) today reported sales for the five weeks ended January 5, 2019 of $86.5 million, down 9% compared to sales of $94.7 million for the five week period ended December 30, 2017. Same-store sales for December were flat compared to the five weeks ended January 6, 2018. December same-store sales are compared to the five week period ended January 6, 2018 rather than the five week period ended December 30, 2017 due to the 53rd week in fiscal 2017.
Sales for the eleven months ended January 5, 2019 were $776.7 million, down 1% compared to sales of $787.9 million for the eleven months ended December 30, 2017. The Company's year-to-date same-store sales were flat.
"December same store sales were slightly below our expectations," stated John Cato, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer.
The Company closed 33 stores in December. As of January 5, 2019, the Company operated 1,316 stores in 33 states, compared to 1,355 stores in 33 states as of December 30, 2017.
The Cato Corporation is a leading specialty retailer of value-priced fashion apparel and accessories operating three concepts, "Cato", "Versona" and "It's Fashion". The Company's Cato stores offer exclusive merchandise with fashion and quality comparable to mall specialty stores at low prices every day. The Company also offers exclusive merchandise found in its Cato stores at www.catofashions.com. Versona is a unique fashion destination offering apparel and accessories including jewelry, handbags and shoes at exceptional prices every day. Select Versona merchandise can also be found at www.shopversona.com. It's Fashion offers fashion with a focus on the latest trendy styles for the entire family at low prices every day. Additional information on The Cato Corporation is available at www.catocorp.com.
Statements in this press release not historical in nature including, without limitation, statements regarding the Company's expected or estimated operational and financial results are considered "forward-looking" within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations that are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to, the following: any actual or perceived deterioration in the conditions that drive consumer confidence and spending, including, but not limited to, levels of unemployment, fuel, energy and food costs, wage rates, tax rates, home values, consumer net worth and the availability of credit; uncertainties regarding the impact of any governmental responses to the foregoing conditions; competitive factors and pricing pressures; our ability to predict and respond to rapidly changing fashion trends and consumer demands; adverse weather or similar conditions that may affect our sales or operations; inventory risks due to shifts in market demand, including the ability to liquidate excess inventory at anticipated margins; and other factors discussed under "Risk Factors" in Part I, Item 1A of the Company's most recently filed annual report on Form 10-K and in other reports the Company files with or furnishes to the SEC from time to time. The Company does not undertake to publicly update or revise the forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that the projected results expressed or implied therein will not be realized. The Company is not responsible for any changes made to this press release by wire or Internet services.