Specialty retailer Harold's Stores has reported sales increases for the third quarter and year-to-date periods, and said it was well positioned for the upcoming Christmas season.

Quarterly sales totalled US$23.3m compared to $23.1m last year, as both total company and full-line retail same-store sales slipped 1.5 per cent.

Direct sales, which consist of internet and catalogue revenue, almost doubled to $803,000 from $405,000 a year ago.

Net sales for the year-to-date period were $67.6m compared to $66.6m last year, as total same-store sales fell 0.1 per cent, full-line retail sales dropped 0.4 per cent, and outlet sales rose 6.1 per cent

Interim chief executive Leonard Snyder said: "Our business was good during the month of August, as Customers responded well to wear-now merchandise. 

"However, September sales were approximately $1.5m below last year due to unseasonably warm temperatures and the impact of hurricanes Katrina and Rita that directly affected our Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi stores. 

"We were pleased to see October sales recover, as we re-positioned our fall season full-line store event from November last year into October of this year, the month where it has always historically been held".

1948-established Harold's currently operates 41 upmarket ladies' and men's specialty stores across the US.