ABILENE, Kan., Aug. 30, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ALCO Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq:ALCS) today announced that sales from continuing operations, excluding fuel, decreased 0.9% to $32.2 million for the fiscal four-week period ended August 26, 2012, compared to $32.4 million during the same period of the prior year. On a same-store basis, excluding fuel, sales decreased 4.3% from a year earlier. On a year-to-date basis, sales from continuing operations, excluding fuel, increased 2.0% to $266.2 million for the fiscal 30-week period ended August 26, 2012, compared to $261.0 million during the same period of the prior year. On a same-store basis, excluding fuel, sales decreased 0.8% from a year earlier. Rich Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "August sales results were held back by several factors, including the slowing of consumer spending in the Midwest due to the impact of the worst drought in 50 years. This has impacted a broad swath of rural America and the majority of our store locations. In a number of our communities, Back to School shopping has shifted due to later school openings this year. In addition, we strategically chose to move some promotional spending from the August time frame to support key fourth-quarter sales initiatives." Wilson added, "As we focus on the second half of the fiscal year, we have developed marketing plans, merchandise assortments and expense plans that will position us to navigate slow economic growth and a challenging competitive environment." Wilson concluded, "In addition, we will be broadening our food offering to include frozen food in 153 stores during the month of October. Over the past two years, ALCO has built a loyal customer base for groceries and other daily needs. The addition of frozen meal solutions, pizza, deli meats and ice cream is a natural extension of our successful dry grocery franchise. We anticipate this significant enhancement will drive customer traffic and build average basket size."