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Cato Reports February Same-Store Sales Down 5%





CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cato Corporation (NYSE: CATO) today reported sales for the four weeks ended February 25, 2012 of $83.9 million, a 3% decrease from sales of $86.2 million for the four week period ended February 26, 2011.  Same-store sales for the month decreased 5% from the prior year.

"February sales were slightly weaker than our recent trend reflecting the continuing difficult economic environment and, to a lesser extent, the impact of tax refund delays," stated John Cato, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer.

During February, the Company opened a store in Montgomery, AL, relocated a store in Frankfort, KY and closed two stores.  As of February 25, 2012, the Company operated 1,287 stores in 31 states, compared to 1,282 stores in 31 states as of February 26, 2011.

The Cato Corporation is a leading specialty retailer of value-priced fashion apparel and accessories operating three concepts, "Cato," "Versona" and "It's Fashion." The Company's Cato stores offer exclusive merchandise with fashion and quality comparable to mall specialty stores at low prices every day.  Versona is a unique fashion destination offering accessories and apparel including jewelry, handbags and shoes at exceptional prices every day.  It's Fashion offers fashion with a focus on the latest trendy styles and nationally recognized urban brands for the entire family at low prices every day.  Additional information on The Cato Corporation is available at www.catocorp.com.

Statements in this press release not historical in nature including, without limitation, statements regarding the Company's expected or estimated financial results are considered "forward-looking" within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations that are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements.  Such factors include, but are not limited to, the following: general economic conditions; competitive factors and pricing pressures; the Company's ability to predict fashion trends; consumer apparel buying patterns; adverse weather conditions and inventory risks due to shifts in market demand and other factors discussed under "Risk Factors" in Part I, Item 1A of the Company's most recently filed annual report on Form 10-K, as amended or supplemented, and in other reports the Company files with or furnishes to the SEC from time to time.  The Company does not undertake to publicly update or revise the forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that the projected results expressed or implied therein will not be realized. The Company is not responsible for any changes made to this press release by wire or Internet services.



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