Bon-Ton sales up

Despite a retail industry that has struggled to deal with drops in consumer traffic, one local company has posted positive sales results.

For the four weeks that ended Aug. 2, The Bon-Ton stores' total sales increased 1.8 percent to $197.9 million compared with $194.3 million reported the same time last year.

Comparable stores sales, or sales at locations open at least one year, grew by 0.7 percent compared with the prior year period.

"We are pleased with our July sales performance, particularly in light of the continued challenging economic environment," said Tony Buccina, vice chairman and president of merchandising.

For the second quarter of fiscal 2008, comparable store sales decreased 5.7 percent compared with the same time last year.

Total sales for the 13 weeks that ended Aug. 2 dropped 5 percent to $673.4 million compared with $708.6 million for the prior year period.

-- Sean Adkins

Graham income soars in 2Q

Graham Packaging Holdings Co. posted net sales of about $688.2 million in the second quarter of 2008, up from about $651 million last year, according to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Net income for the quarter was about $28.3 million, up from about $5.1 million last year.

The company is the parent of Graham Packaging Co., with the majority owner of The Blackstone Group in New York and a base of operations in Springettsbury Township.


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Graham is part of an estimated $3.2 billion deal with Texas-based Hicks Acquisition to be purchased by the company in a transaction that would result in Graham Packaging becoming a publicly traded company.

-- Brent Burkey

Pfaltzgraff parent posts loss

Shakiness in the bottom line for Lifetime Brands is revolving in part around the former York-based Pfaltzgraff brand, with factory outlet retailers and consumers buying cheaper or not making discretionary purchases.

Overall, the company said it managed to stop the loss of business in its wholesale business from the first quarter of this year, which included a 10 percent drop compared with the year before.

This quarter, taking out Lifetime's purchase of another successful dinnerware brand, Mikasa, the drop was only about 1 percent.

Lifetime CEO Jeffrey Siegel said the company is doing a better-than-expected job at managing inventory levels, is increasing its market share and has successfully consolidated a California warehouse operation to save money.

A bright spot in sales has been in kitchenware, such as knives and can openers, which aren't affected as much by economic downturns. That is offset by people not buying high-end dinnerware.

Siegel said the economy continues to be in one of the worst places he has seen in his 41 years in business and expects current business trends to continue.

-- Brent Burkey