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Bon-Ton June sales fall below expectations


YORK, Pa. The Bon-Ton Stores today announced total sales for the five weeks ended July 7 decreased 8.1%, to $279.6 million, compared to $304.2 million for the prior year period. Bon-Ton and Carson's combined comparable-store sales for the five weeks decreased 8%. Carson's comparable-store sales decreased 1.7% and Bon-Ton comparable store sales decreased 18.1% compared to the prior year period.

Year-to-date total sales increased 14% to $1.25 billion compared to $1.1 billion for the same period last year. Year-to-date Bon-Ton comparable-store sales decreased 7.5% and, for informational purposes only, year-to-date Carson's comparable-store sales are flat to prior-year period.

Tony Buccina, vice chairman and president of merchandising commented, "June sales results were below expectations, primarily driven by a slowdown in traffic. Categories of merchandise which performed well included intimate apparel, children's, juniors, dresses and cosmetics. The weakest performing areas were home and furniture. Despite the sales shortfall, inventory levels are well-positioned for the remainder of the second quarter and we continue to provide our customers with fresh merchandise."

The company said it expects fiscal 2007 earnings per diluted share will be below its initial guidance of $3.40 to $3.50 by approximately 20 cents to 30 cents.

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