Specialty chain of upscale ladies' and men's clothing, Harold's Stores Inc, on Thursday posted a 27.2 per cent leap in third quarter comparable store sales.

The Dallas-based operator of 42 stores said outlet comparable store sales increased 2.7 per cent for the 13 weeks ended November 1.

It added net sales for the third quarter reached $23.9 million, an 11.7 per cent rise from total third quarter sales of $21.4m during the same period of the previous year.

"We are extremely pleased with our sales trends during the third quarter," said CEO Clark Hinkley in a news release.

"Despite the fact that we closed four full-line retail stores and four outlet stores during the first half of 2003, our total sales during the quarter exceeded last year by 12 per cent."