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Cato Reports January Same-Store Sales Up 2%

CHARLOTTE, N.C, Feb. 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cato Corporation (CATO) today reported sales for the four weeks ended February 2, 2019 of $44.5 million, a 18% decrease from sales of $54.2 million for the five week period ended February 3, 2018. The fiscal year ended February 2, 2019 contains 52 weeks versus 53 weeks in the fiscal year ended February 3, 2018 and January 2019 contains four weeks versus five weeks in January 2018. On a comparable four week basis, total sales for the month were flat and same-store sales for January increased 2%.

Sales for fiscal fourth quarter ended February 2, 2019 were $190.4 million, a decrease of 10% over sales of $211.1 million for the fourth quarter ended February 3, 2018. On a comparable 13-week basis, total sales for the quarter decreased 3% and same-store sales decreased 2% from last year. For the year, the Company's sales decreased 3% to $821.2 million from 2017 sales of $842.1 million. On a comparable 52-week basis, total sales for the fiscal year ended February 2, 2019 decreased 1% and same-store sales were flat to last year.

"January same-store sales benefited from favorable weather this year compared to last year," stated John Cato, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer. "Without this benefit same-store sales would have been slightly negative."

The Company will release fourth quarter and fiscal year 2018 earnings on Thursday, March 21, 2019.

During January, the Company closed five stores. During the fourth quarter, the Company closed 39 stores. For the fiscal year ended February 2, 2019, the Company closed 40 stores. As of February 2, 2019, the Company operated 1,311 stores in 31 states, compared to 1,351 stores in 33 states as of February 3, 2018. 

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.

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; changes in laws or regulations affecting our business; 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.

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