Harsh winter weather appears to have discouraged many shoppers from heading to the mall last month.
For Charlotte-based fashion retailer Cato, February sales totaled $80.5 million, or 7 percent lower than the same month in 2014. For stores open at least a year, monthly sales were down 10 percent from the previous year.
“February sales were significantly impacted by winter storms during the last two weeks of the month,” John Cato, the company’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement.
Snow, ice and sleet, coupled with unseasonably cold temperatures, battered much of the country last month, particularly the East Coast. In Charlotte, officials warned residents to stay off the roads many days as freezing rain and ice canceled schools, businesses and flights.
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At the end of February, Cato operated 1,348 stores in 32 states. In the Charlotte area, Cato has about 19 brick-and-mortar stores, according to the store’s website. Demolition began this week at the former Charlotte Knights Stadium in York County to make way for a new Cato distribution center in the 32-acre space.