Bon-Ton Stores Inc. announced it will close up to six stores after posting yet another loss of annual store sales last year.
The company reported its operating results for its fiscal fourth quarter and full year, which ended on Jan. 28. Store sales decreased by nearly 4 percent compared to the prior tear, and fourth quarter sales decreased by nearly 5 percent.
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Approximately four to six stores will close, but locations were not identified.
Bon-Ton’s sales decreased to $2.6 billion last year from more than $2.7 billion in 2015. Bon Ton owns stores like Elder-Beerman and Crason’s, and currently operates 263 stores of various brands across the U.S.
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“While the continued weak traffic trends and unseasonably warm weather pressured sales in the fourth quarter, we expanded gross margin by 145 basis points,” said Kathryn Bufano, president and chief executive officer. “In addition, we exceeded our cost reduction goal by $7 million, with net savings of $31 million for the year. We also made progress on a number of initiatives designed to differentiate our stores within the retail landscape.”
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Bufano said the company is “well-positioned” for the year, and remains focused on capitalizing on the omnichannel — brick-and-mortar and e-commerce sales — business. They will also refine their marketing strategies and emphasis localization in stores.
“Looking ahead, we will strive to make progress on our strategic initiatives and believe we are positioned to deliver improved performance going forward,” she said.
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