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Alco sales up on strength of seasonal products

ABILENE, Kan — Alco reported that total sales, excluding fuel, increased 26% to $34.8 million for the fiscal five-week period ended Feb. 3, compared with $27.6 million during the four-week period of the prior year. On a same-store basis, excluding fuel, sales increased 21.4% from a year earlier. 

For the fourth quarter, the company posted that total sales, excluding fuel, increased 8.3% to $145.1 million, compared with $133.9 million for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 29, 2012 of the prior year. On a same-store basis, excluding fuel, sales increased 4.2% from a year earlier. 

Total sales for the fiscal year, excluding fuel, increased 3.6% to $485.7 million, compared with $468.8 million during the 52-week period of the prior year. On a same-store basis, excluding fuel, sales for the 53-week period increased 0.3% from a year earlier.

Rich Wilson, president and CEO, commented, "January sales were somewhat soft due to a combination of positive and negative factors. Cooler temperatures in January drove Alco's business in seasonal categories within the home and hardlines divisions, and we also experienced growth in our commodities division as a result of our expanded freezer and cooler product offerings. However, consumer spending was subdued amid uncertainty on the future of the economy withthe fiscal cliff, payroll tax increase, and other issues in the period."