For the quarter ended August 3, the parent to Boston Store, Younkers, Bergner’s, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman and Herberger’s posted a net loss of $37.3 million, or $1.95 a share, compared with a net loss of $45 million, or $2.43 a share, in the second quarter of 2012. That was still higher than analysts’ average estimate for a $1.38 a share loss.
Net sales declined 6.3% to $557.1 million. Comparable store sales slipped 6.4%.
Gross Margin Improves
Gross margin widened to 37%, compared with 36% in the second quarter last year.
Brendan Hoffman, president/ceo, said the company was “disappointed in our second quarter sales performance, but we were pleased we were able to deliver on several of our goals.
“We believe overall sales weakness was in part attributable to the adverse impact of inclement weather in our markets and higher gas prices, especially in the Northeast and Midwest, which contributed to an unfavorable shift in consumer spending patterns,” he added.
Through the first half of its fiscal year, Bon-Ton posted a net loss of $64 million, or $3.37 a share, an improvement over a loss of $85.8 million, or $4.66, in the first six months of fiscal 2012.
Looking ahead, Hoffman said the company remained focused on “execution of our key merchandising, marketing and e-commerce strategies, including the localization of our merchandise assortments and marketing programs to drive top-line growth, while maintaining disciplined inventory management and careful cost controls.”