AP News

Alco says key sales figure falls 1.8 percent

ABILENE, Kan. (AP) — Alco Stores, the discount retailer, said Thursday that sales in stores open at least one year fell 1.8 percent last month. Unseasonably warm weather lowered demand for cold weather clothing, the company said.

Analysts track revenue at stores open at least a year because it weeds out the effect of new store openings and closings.

The Abilene, Kan.-based company said total sales rose 1.9 percent to $34.2 million in the four weeks that ended Oct. 28 from $33.5 million during the same period last year. All figures exclude fuel sales.

For the year to date, same store sales fell 1.2 percent from a year earlier, while total sales rose 1.7 percent to $340.6 million from $334.9 million last year.

Rich Wilson, the company's president and chief executive, said in a press release that he expects food sales to increase as it adds more freezers and coolers to stores in the fourth quarter. The company plans to open two new stores in North Dakota and Montana in November.

Alco Stores Inc. currently operates 215 stores in 23 states.

The company's shares slipped 16 cents to $10.03 in morning trading Thursday.

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