Department store chain Bon-Ton missed its quarter four estimate earnings, with its overall net loss for 2016 expanding to $63.4 million, up from $57.1 million a year ago.
According to Chain Store Age, weak traffic and unseasonably warm weather impacted Bon-Ton’s earnings for the last quarter of 2016, with a net income of $44.7 million, or $2.09 per diluted share, which is short of its estimate by 37 cents. Revenue fell 5.5 percent to $877.3 million, and comparable store sales decreased 4.7 percent. Total revenue for the entire year fell 4.3 percent to $2.6 billion
The company currently operates 263 department stores in 25 states under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers banners.
“While the continued weak traffic trends and unseasonably warm weather pressured sales in the fourth quarter, we expanded gross margin by 145 basis points and grew adjusted EBITDA by 8 percent,” said Kathryn Bufano, president and CEO. “In addition, we exceeded our cost reduction goal by $7 million, with net savings of $31 million for the year.”
For the upcoming year, the company plans to focus on its omnichannel business, which has seen double-digit sales growth through its website, mobile site and its Buy Online Pick Up In-Store program. And it also recently launched its “Close to Home” product assortment. In 2017, Bufano said there will be “even greater emphasis on growth categories and localization.”