Burlington Coat Factory reported Thursday (7 June) that its net and same-store sales fell in both the fourth quarter and full year.

During the 13 weeks ended 2 June, net sales dropped 5.4% to US$774.5m from $819m in the 14-week 2006 quarter. Comparing similar 13-week periods, sales rose 1.8%, to $774.5m from $760.6m, but same-store sales were off 2.9%.

The Burlington, New Jersey-based off-price apparel retailer, which was acquired by Bain Capital Partners in April 2006, said that same-store sales were up 5.3% in March but down 14% in April and off 2.3% in May.

Like other apparel and general merchandise retailers, Burlington Coat cited a cold April and the shift in Easter to March this year from April last year for the sales softness.

Burlington Coat Factory also reported that net sales for the 52-week year ended 2 June were $3.4bn, down 1% from the $3.44bn reported for the 53 weeks ended 3 June 2006. 

A comparison of similar 52-week years reveals that BCF's sales increased 0.4%, to $3.4bn from $3.39bn, but were down 2.2% on a same-store basis.

As of 2 June, the company operated 379 stores in 44 states.
By Arnold J Karr.