Bon-Ton narrows loss on reduced expense

YORK, Pa. — The Bon-Ton Stores reported Thursday that it narrowed its loss in the second quarter to $32.3 million from $33.7 million a year earlier.

Sales declined 2.2% to $595.5 million, but aggressive cost-cutting prompted the improved profit performance. Results, however, missed Wall Street expectations.

Same-store sales fell 1.5% for the quarter.

Bud Bergren, president and CEO, commented, "We made adjustments to our merchandise assortment that we believe will yield improved performance in the second half of the year. For example, we expanded our assortment of updated and better fashions, and we have seen strong customer response to these adjustments. At the same time, we scaled back on select assortments in our slower selling traditional apparel. In addition, we're introducing the new brands John Bartlett in our men's division and Mambo in our young men's and boy's divisions — both exclusive to us and both providing newness that will resonate well with our customer. We also recently completed renovations to 17 stores, increasing square footage dedicated to our growth businesses, especially shoes, which we believe will drive improved sales results."