VENTURE’S SEPTEMBER SALES OFF 20.4%; WEATHER CITED

O’FALLON, Mo. — Venture Stores Inc. said Wednesday that September same-store sales fell 8.8 percent, while total sales dropped 20.4 percent to $99.8 million from $125.3 million a year earlier.
Apparel sales were hurt by unseasonably warm weather during much of the month and a decision by the company not to repeat a promotional event that had been held in the fall of 1996, Robert N. Wildrick, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
However, hard-line sales remained strong, he said, and soft-line sales trends continued to improve, as Venture increased its inventory levels.
Venture said it will not report year-to-date same-store sales for the remainder of 1997 because the comparisons for July and August were “not meaningful” due to the effect of liquidation sales at 20 stores.
Total sales for the eight-month period fell 7.3 percent to $844.3 million from $912.8 million.

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