Bon-Ton sales rose slightly in September, the company announced Thursday.

For the five weeks that ended Saturday, comparable store sales increased 0.7 percent to $288.9 million, compared to $286.9 million from the same period last year, according to a news release.

Total year-to-date sales slipped 0.2 percent from 2011 figures. As of Thursday, the company brought in $1.705 billion in 2012, compared to $1.709 billion a year ago.

"We gained momentum the final two weeks in the month and finished strong," Bon-Ton CEO Brendan Hoffman said of September. "We largely attribute our performance to a better-balanced merchandise assortment and refined marketing efforts."

The company's most popular items in September included jewelry, sportswear and dresses, Hoffman said.

The Bon-Ton operates 272 department stores in 23 states. Its headquarters are in Springettsbury Township and Milwaukee.