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Duckwall-ALCO reports 7.4% sales increase


ABILENE, Kan. Duckwall-ALCO Stores today announced that its sales from continuing operations for the five weeks ended Dec. 30 increased approximately 7.4% to $71.3 million compared to $66.4 million in the prior-year month. Same-store sales, excluding fuel, decreased 1.2%.

The company reported that its three year turnaround plan is doing well. At the end of fiscal month December 2008, same-store inventory was $9.6 million below prior year, or 8%, and total merchandise inventory, including comparable stores, non-comparable stores and warehouse, was $5 million below prior year, or 3.7%. This $5 million reduction in total merchandise inventory includes the December 2008 investment of approximately $8.3 million in inventory for the 18 new ALCO stores opened during fiscal year 2008.

Bruce Dale, president and ceo stated, "This difficult retail environment has meant an even greater appreciation for the benefits of our major initiatives the past three years. The reduction in inventory is just one example. The $9.6 million reduction in same-store inventory is primarily attributable to the IT initiative and is helping to offset the required inventory investments of our store growth initiative. Going forward, additional benefits of our initiatives are expected to enhance company financial performance.''

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