Shoe retailer Footstar Inc on Thursday announced a four per cent slide in September same-store sales and the appointment of Jack Bellini as SVP - merchandising and marketing for Footaction.

The New York-based company said comparable store sales at Meldisco fell 2.3 per cent and comparable store sales for the athletic segment slipped 6.2 per cent. Total sales fell 8.2 per cent to $197 million from $214.5m in 2001.

Total sales for the Meldisco division declined 8.1 per cent to $118.6m and total sales in its athletic segment slipped 8.4 per cent to $78.4m. Footstar said the fall in sales is partly because it operates fewer stores than last year.

Chairman and CEO, Mickey Robinson, said: "On an overall basis, our performance for the month was impacted by the continuing weakness in the retail environment. In spite of this, our Meldisco division posted on-plan results in Kmart stores, and benefited from strong sales generated by the Ames liquidations.

"In the athletic division, results continued to reflect slow customer traffic in the malls and a highly competitive promotional environment as we, and our competitors, manage inventory levels in light of the disappointing back-to-school season.

"As a result of our efforts, inventories for Footstar's athletic division are coming back into line and we expect to be on plan by the end of the year."