Bon-Ton lowers expectations despite strong holiday sales

Special to The Freeman

Jan. 20, 2015

WAUKESHA — The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. announced it was lowering its earnings guidance, despite a holiday season that saw comparable store sales increase 5.3 percent for the nine-weeks ending Jan. 3.

The company had total sales of $796.4 million in November and December, an increase of 3.8 percent from the previous year.

Present and CEO Kathryn Bugano said the company was pleased with the performance, noting customers responded well to both in-store and online offerings.”

“However, our strong sales performance was tempered by the highly promotional sales environment,” she said, adding the company had lowed its full-year adjusted EBITDA guidance to a range of $140 million to $150 million, it previously was $150 million to $160 million.
The company also announced Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Keith E. Plowman plans to retire in August.

Plowman and the company’s board of directors agreed upon a a notice period of approximately six months followed by an 18-month consulting arrangement.

The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., with corporate headquarters in York, Pennsylvania and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, operates 272 stores, which includes nine furniture galleries and four clearance centers, in 26 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Bergner's, Boston Store, Carson's, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's and Younkers nameplates.