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VENTURE STORES, INC. LOWERS FIRST QUARTER EARNINGS ESTIMATE

 O'FALLON, Mo., April 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Venture Stores, Inc. (NYSE: VEN) today announced that it expects its first quarter earnings to be substantially less than current analysts' estimates of $0.25 to $0.34 per common share. Assuming the sales trend for the first two weeks of April continues, the company expects to earn in the range of $0.04 to $0.08 per common share for the quarter ending May 1, 1993 versus $0.33 per common share in the first quarter of 1992. These estimates do not include a cumulative effect of a change in accounting related to income taxes of approximately $0.55 earnings per common share.
 The company indicated that comparable-store sales to date for April have been lower in all markets than in the comparable period last year and have been substantially below plan. As previously disclosed, comparable-store sales for the February-March, 1993 period decreased 4.9 percent. Several factors have contributed to the poor comparable- store sales this quarter, including adverse weather conditions and cooler than normal temperatures which negatively affected sales of higher margin softlines and seasonal merchandise. Other factors include the anniversary of the grand opening surge sales of seven stores opened in March, 1992, higher than normal store openings by competitors and the fact that last year's first quarter had a comparable-store sales increase of 5.9 percent. In addition, the company believes that consumer confidence is low and general economic conditions remain sluggish.
 The company cannot predict how long current conditions will continue. Accordingly, it is planning sales conservatively for the balance of the year and is aggressively pursuing on-going efforts to reduce operating expenses.
 Venture operates 93 quality discount retail stores in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Indiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Iowa and Kentucky. Venture's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol VEN.
 -0- 4/20/93
 CONTACT: Jack Burtelow of Venture Stores, Inc., 314-281-7800/
 (VEN)


CO: Venture Stores, Inc. ST: Missouri IN: REA SU: ERP

TS -- NY023 -- 7817 04/20/93 09:05 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 20, 1993
Words:338
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