United Retail Group Inc saw total sales during the period from July 8, 2001 to August 4, 2001 increased 1 per cent to $26.9m compared with $26.6m during the period from July 2, 2000 to July 29, 2000. Comparable store sales for July decreased 5 per cent.

Total sales for the second quarter of Fiscal 2001 decreased 1 per cent to $107.3m compared with $108.6m in the same quarter last year. Comparable store sales decreased 8 per cent for the quarter.

Total sales for the first half of Fiscal 2001 increased 4 per cent to $216.1m from $208.1m in the same period last year. Comparable store sales decreased 3 per cent for the half year.

Raphael Benaroya, the company's chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer, commented: "The retail climate was unfavourable and reduced our average transactions per store during the second quarter, causing the lower comparable store sales. Our average dollar sale for each transaction, however, remained as high as last year's."

Mr Benaroya added: "Our spring merchandise carryover inventories are significantly lower than at the beginning of the third quarter last year. The inventory is clean and the company is well positioned for the fall season."