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Cato sales flat in January

Cato Corp. today said had $51.9 million in sales for the four weeks that ended Jan. 29, flat compared with $52.1 million for the four weeks ended Jan. 30, 2010.

Same-store sales — those at stores open for at least a year — for the month declined 4 percent from the same month a year ago.

The Charlotte-based clothing retailer said it had sales for the fourth quarter that ended Jan. 29 of $224.3 million, a 3 percent increase over $217.7 million for the year-ago quarter. Same-store sales for the quarter increased 1 percent from a year ago.

For the year, sales increased 5 percent to $913.9 million from $872.1 million in 2009. Same-store sales increased 3 percent.

President John Cato said January sales were below expectations.

During January, the company opened six new stores in Albany and Waycross, Ga.; Raleigh; Fort Worth and Livingston, Texas; and Richmond, Va.

During the fourth quarter, the company opened eight stores and closed seven. For the fiscal year that ended Jan. 29, it opened 37 stores, relocated four and closed 26.

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