By and  on May 22, 2009

First-quarter results released by three retailers Thursday added more evidence the ongoing recession has been far easier on off-price firms than their department store counterparts.

Bargain-hungry shoppers helped Ross Stores Inc., the nation’s second largest off-price retailer behind The TJX Cos. Inc., boost both sales and profits in the quarter. However, the pricier — albeit increasingly promotional — department store sector saw two of its occupants, The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. and Stage Stores Inc., check in with losses that came, respectively, against a smaller loss and a profit a year ago.

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