Bon-Ton narrows loss in second quarter

Same store sales decrease 6 percent

Bon-Ton will liquidate.

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:19 am

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. narrowed its net loss in the second quarter, despite ongoing pressure on brick-and-mortar retailers who continue to struggle with the changing habits of shoppers.

The company, which has dual headquarters in downtown Milwaukee and York, Pennsylvania, reported a net loss of $33.2 million in the second quarter, compared to a loss of $33.7 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2016.

Comparable store sales decreased 6.1 percent, from $524.4 million to $504.4 million, as compared with the prior year period.

Bon-Ton continued its double-digit sales growth in omnichannel, which reflects sales via the company’s website, mobile site, and its Let Us Find It customer service program, as Bon-Ton leveraged its West Jefferson facility and store fulfillment network.

William Tracy, incoming president and chief executive officer, said while the results were consistent with Bon-Ton’s expectations and showed an improvement over its performance in the first quarter, the company remains focused on working to better position the business for the long-term.

“We saw strength in key merchandise categories and brands and were pleased with the continued double-digit growth in our omnichannel business,” Tracy said in a written statement. “ Additionally, we continued to effectively execute our profit improvement initiatives, substantially reducing our SG&A expense for the quarter.”

Looking forward, Bon-Ton will focus on efforts to further enhance its merchandise assortment with an emphasis on targeted growth categories, refine its marketing strategy to increase traffic and customer engagement, and drive growth in its omnichannel business, Tracy said.

“In addition, we expect to achieve further cost reductions through the continued rollout of our profit improvement initiative,” Tracy said. “We believe that these actions will drive improved performance in the back half of the year.”

Bon-Ton operates 260 stores in 24 states under the Boston Store, Carson’s, Younkers, Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Elder-Beerman and Herberger’s brands.

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