The United States' ninth largest independent department store chain, The Elder-Beerman Stores Corp, has posted a narrowed second quarter net loss of $1.7 million compared to $3.2m in the year-ago period.

The Ohio-based operator of 66 stores said sales grew 2.4 per cent to $133.6m but same-store sales slipped 1.8 per cent.

President and CEO, Byron Bergren, said: "We are pleased with the bottom line improvement in the second quarter and the progress we have made in our cost reduction programs. We are also pleased with our inventory management program and the freshness of our inventory going into the fall season."