Cold April chills clothing sales

Posted: May 10, 2007

Five of the six Philadelphia-area retail chains that reported sales for April or for the first quarter said results were down from a year ago. The percentages below refer to stores that were open at least a year, a key industry gauge.

Mothers Work Inc., Philadelphia: Same-store sales for April fell 15 percent from a year earlier. The company blamed colder-than-anticipated weather for dampening sales at its 1,412 locations.

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., York: Comparable-store sales in April fell 16 percent from last year. Its Carson's stores separately fell 12 percent. Bon-Ton mostly blamed the weather, too.

Deb Shops Inc., Philadelphia: Same-store sales fell 5 percent from April to April. The company did not cite weather as a factor, but instead noted that there were four Saturday shopping days in April this year compared with five last year.

Urban Outfitters Inc., Philadelphia: Comparable-store sales were down 2 percent in the first-quarter of this year compared with last year. But its Anthropologie and Free People locations were up. Overall, the company blamed the weather.

Rite Aid Corp., Camp Hill: Same-store sales increased 2 percent from April 2006 to April 2007. It said prescription revenue accounted for two-thirds of the rising sales.

AC Moore Arts & Crafts Inc., Berlin: Comparable-store sales in the first quarter fell 5 percent from last year to this year. It said it expected the decrease while it focuses on improving gross profit margins.

   - Thomas Ginsberg

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