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In another blow for Elder-Beerman, Bon-Ton posts holiday sales decline

In another blow for Elder-Beerman, parent company The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. announced holiday sales declined again compared to last year.

The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. today announced that its comparable store sales for the nine-week holiday period ended Dec. 30 decreased 2.9 percent. Total sales for the holiday period were $720.8 million compared to sales of $752.1 million in the prior year period.

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The company, which owns and operates several retailers including Elder-Beerman, found that most consumers were purchasing cosmetics, children’s clothing, outerwear and fine jewelry this holiday season. However, store officials said the decrease in holiday sales isn’t as bad as it was last year.

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“The company’s holiday period comparable store sales decrease of 2.9 percent is an improvement from the comparable store sales decrease of 6.6 percent reported in the third quarter,” said Bill Tracy, president and chief executive officer for The Bon-Ton Stores. “We are actively engaged in discussions with our debt holders in an effort to strengthen our capital structure to support the business going forward.”

There are about 15 retailers that are at a higher risk of filing for bankruptcy this year, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Some of the major retailers that are at risk include: The Bon-Ton Stores, Bebe Stores Inc., Stein Mart Inc., Sears Holdings, Sun Pacific Holding Corp., and Burlington Stores Inc.

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