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ABILENE, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 30, 2001--Duckwall-ALCO Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ: DUCK - news) today announced that sales for the four weeks ended August 26, 2001 were $30.4 million compared with $28.6 million in the year ago period, an increase of 6.1 percent. Same store sales were $28.6 million, an increase of 5.5 percent. ALCO discount stores, which account for approximately 91 percent of the total sales, achieved a same store sales increase of 5.7 percent and Duckwall stores were up a solid
2.9 percent for the month. Categories with the largest sales increases include shoes, consumables, toys, pet supplies, automotive, sporting goods, photo, music and movies, appliances, ladies coordinates, toddlers, and giftwear.
The Company attributes its strong sales performance to several factors: First, it has remodeled 21 of the planned 32 ALCO stores targeted for completion in the current fiscal year. The focus of each remodel is to enhance the customer's overall shopping experience. Features and everyday values are emphasized. On average, these stores have experienced double-digit increases in sales
in the current fiscal year since their remodel. Eleven more stores will be remodeled during the remainder of the fiscal year ending February 3, 2002.
Second, the Company continues to benefit from other marketing and merchandising initiatives that are contributing to improved sales. These include opportunistic buys in various departments, feature programs, expansion of consumables and more emphasis on opening price point merchandise. For the month of August, the Company was able to take advantage of an opportunistic shoe buy that
accounted for an impressive 2.2 percent of the 5.7 percent increase in ALCO stores. Finally, the Company has improved its overall merchandise in-stock position. Current expectations for September are for a smaller sales impact from opportunistic buys.
For the thirty weeks ended August 26, 2001, sales were $223.9 million, an increase of 2.1 percent over sales of $219.3 million last year. Same store sales were $212.2 million, an increase of 1.7 percent to last year.
Duckwall-ALCO Stores, Inc. is a leading regional retailer, which operates 264 full-line discount and hometown variety stores in the Midwestern United States under the names ``ALCO'' and ``Duckwall'', respectively. The Company's strategy is to target smaller markets not served by other regional or national full line retail discount chains and provide the most convenient access to retail
shopping within each market.