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Cato Reports April Same-Store Sales Down 2%


CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cato Corporation (NYSE: CATO) today reported sales of $80.6 million for the four weeks ended April 29, 2017, a 2% decrease from sales of $81.9 million for the four weeks ended April 30, 2016.  Same-store sales were down 2% for the month.

Sales for the first quarter ended April 29, 2017 were $237.7 million, a 17% decrease from sales of $285.5 million for the first quarter ended April 30, 2016.  Same-store sales for the first quarter decreased 17% to last year.

April sales were impacted by the shift of Easter from March last year to April this year.  Because of this shift, the best measure for performance is the combined sales for the two months, which decreased 13% overall and decreased 13% to the prior year on a same-store basis.

"Our negative sales trends persisted throughout March and April as we continued to work through our merchandise assortment missteps.  We still expect first quarter earnings to be significantly less than last year," stated John Cato, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer. 

The Company will release first quarter results on Thursday, May 18, 2017.

During the month of April, the Company opened one store in Chattanooga, TN.  As of April 29, 2017, the Company operated 1,374 stores in 33 states, compared to 1,372 stores in 33 states as of April 30, 2016.

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.  The Company also offers exclusive merchandise found in its Cato stores at  Versona is a unique fashion destination offering apparel and accessories including jewelry, handbags and shoes at exceptional prices every day.  Select Versona merchandise can also be found at  It's Fashion offers fashion with a focus on the latest trendy styles for the entire family at low prices every day.  Additional information on The Cato Corporation is available at

Statements in this press release not historical in nature including, without limitation, statements regarding the Company's expected or estimated operational and 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: any actual or perceived deterioration in the conditions that drive consumer confidence and spending, including, but not limited to, levels of unemployment, fuel, energy and food costs, wage rates, tax rates, home values, consumer net worth and the availability of credit; uncertainties regarding the impact of any governmental responses to the foregoing conditions; competitive factors and pricing pressures; our ability to predict and respond to rapidly changing fashion trends and consumer demands; adverse weather or similar conditions that may affect our sales or operations; inventory risks due to shifts in market demand, including the ability to liquidate excess inventory at anticipated margins; 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 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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SOURCE The Cato Corporation

John R. Howe, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, 704-551-7315