Christopher & Banks Corporation (Nasdaq: CHBS), formerly Braun's Fashions Corporation, today reported a 16 per cent increase in September same-store sales for its four-week period ended September 23, 2000. Total sales for the four-week period ended September 23, 2000, rose 40 per cent to $15.3m from $10.9m last year. For the seven months ended September 23, 2000, same-store sales rose 20 per cent. Total sales for the seven months year-to-date increased 43 per cent to $99.2m from $69.3m last year. As of September 23, 2000, the company operated 262 stores compared with 212 stores at September 25, 1999. Bill Prange, chairman and CEO said: "We are very pleased with the continued strength of our sales across all merchandise categories. Our 16 per cent increase in September same-store sales follows a 13 per cent increase in last year's September same-store sales. Sales were the strongest during the last week of the month, as cooler weather generated increased customer interest in our new fall assortments." Mr Prange continued: "We also opened five new C.J. Banks stores during September, catering to the casual clothing needs of 35 to 55 year old women who wear sizes 14W to 24W. We currently operate 14 C.J. Banks stores and plan to open six additional stores this Fall. Sales at these stores were in line with our expectations, with sweaters showing the strongest performance." Mr Prange concluded, "We continue to see robust selling at full price. Based on September's results, we anticipate that gross margin for the third quarter, which ends on November 25, 2000, will exceed last year's third quarter gross margin by at least 300 basis points."