Cato sees 6% rise in same-store sales in March 2018

Charlotte, North Carolina-based womenswear retailer The Cato Corporation reported a 4% increase in net sales for the five weeks ended April 7, 2018, compared to the same period in the previous year, and a 6% increase in same-store sales – compared to the five-week period ended April 8, 2017, due to fiscal 2017’s 53rd week.


Cato saw same-store sales increase 6% in March 2018 - Instagram: @catofashions
 
This is the first rise in same-store sales since a long run of decreasing comps, stretching back to February 2016.
 
However, John Cato, chairman, president, and CEO of Cato, warned that “March sales were positively impacted by the shift of Easter from April last year to March this year," going on to advise, "Due to this shift, the best way to measure our performance is by combining sales for the two months.  We expect April same-store sales to be in the high negative single digits and the combined two months' same-store sales to be in the low negative single digits."   
 
Delays in Cato’s strategical repositioning meant that the company’s sales fell 11% in 2017 compared to the previous year, while its earnings plummeted 82% from $47.2 million to $8.5 million. The company was, however, cautiously optimistic in its outlook for 2018.
 
February saw a 5% drop in same-store sales, which came in below expectations, although John Cato commented at the time, “inventory levels are in-line due to strong inventory management”.
 
The company plans to close 34 stores in 2018 and, according to a statement released at the time of its 2017 financial results report, will be focusing on increasing sales through its existing stores and e-commerce website as it goes forward.
 

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