ABILENE, Kan., Dec. 9, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Duckwall-ALCO Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq:DUCK), which specializes in providing a superior selection of essential products for everyday life in small-town America, today announced operating results for its third quarter ended October 31, 2010. Net sales from continuing operations for the third quarter of fiscal 2011 decreased 0.6% to $110.5 million and same-store sales decreased 2.3%. Net sales from continuing operations year-to-date decreased 2.8% to $341.5 million and same-store sales decreased 4.2%. Net loss for the third quarter was $2.0 million, or $0.53 per diluted share, compared to net loss of $1.4 million, or $0.38 per diluted share, for the third quarter of fiscal 2010. Year-to-date net loss for fiscal 2011 was $5.3 million, or $1.37 per diluted share, compared to net earnings of $1.5 million, or $0.40 per diluted share, for the same period of the prior fiscal year. Richard Wilson, President and CEO, commented, "In the third quarter we completed the implementation of a number of strategic and operational initiatives that began after my arrival at the Company in February. The 2.3% decline in same-store sales result for the quarter, while still negative, showed improvement over second-quarter results of negative 7.2%. I am encouraged by the tireless dedication of our associates to accomplish the actions aimed at improving performance, and by our recently reported November same-store sales increase of 6.2% for ALCO stores." "Earnings for the quarter were impacted by a number of charges, including $484,000 related to our store reset initiative, $210,000 related to the integration of Associated Wholesale Grocers' 'Best Choice' and 'Always Save' brands across our ALCO stores, and $60,000 in severance expense due to a reduction of force in our corporate office." In the past eight months the Company has completed several key initiatives. Through the third quarter, the Company has:
- Remerchandised and reset all 214 ALCO stores to expand space devoted to key trip-driving departments such as food, paper and cleaning products.
- Updated ALCO stores with new graphic signage featuring our improved merchandise and brand selection.
- Improved our value proposition in the consumables businesses with the introduction of the "Best Choice" and "Always Save" brands.
- Integrated new space management tools designed to improve shelf productivity and return on investment.
- Expanded our "Everyday Value" and "Dollar" merchandise selections to position ALCO as the consumer's destination for exceptional value for everyday needs.