Alco's Q1 same-store sales feel lingering winter chill

ABILENE, Kan. — Lingering winter weather conditions affected broad-line retailer Alco, which reported same-store sales of $112.4 million for the first quarter ended May 5, a 2.2% decrease from $115 million for the same quarter a year ago.

The company reported net sales from continuing operations for the quarter of $117.5 million, an increase of 0.9% from $116.5 million for the same quarter a year ago.

The company had a net loss for the quarter of $1.7 million, compared to a net loss of $1.3 million for the same quarter a year ago.

"Operating results for the first quarter were negatively impacted by lingering winter weather conditions in many of our markets," said president and CEO Richard Wilson.

More than 80% of the company's same-store sales performance came from outdoor businesses, namely the outdoor living, horticulture, sporting goods and menswear channels. The decrease in outdoor businesses was partially offset by favorable sales performance in domestics, housewares, and women's apparel, where customers responded favorably to the introduction of Alco's new apparel lines.

"Although consumers remain cautious due to slow economic growth, we are encouraged by the positive impact our changes in merchandise are starting to have, and we are equally excited about the potential benefit of price optimization initiatives we are rolling out in fiscal 2014," added Wilson.

Alco Stores operates 217 locations that offer name brand and private label products primarily in small underserved communities across 23 states.