Bon-Ton announces first-quarter results

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., parent company of Younkers, reported operating results for the first quarter of fiscal 2014 ended May 3 and reaffirmed its earnings guidance for fiscal 2014.

Total sales and comparable store sales decreased 6.1 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively, in the quarter.

Brendan Hoffman, president and chief executive officer, said, “We forecasted our first quarter sales to reflect weather challenges, but the prolonged adverse conditions resulted in a financial performance below our expectations. We saw an improvement in sales performance mid-April as the weather became more seasonal and traffic trends improved dramatically

“Despite our shortfall in sales, we were able to achieve a higher gross margin rate, control expenses and effectively manage our inventory such that we ended the quarter with retail inventory levels 1.7 percent below that of the prior year on a comparable store basis,” Hoffman said.