NEW STORES BUILD AT ARDEN

LOS ANGELES -- Arden Group here said sales increases in the third quarter and first nine months, both ended Sept. 29, could be attributed to the openings of a new store in Irvine, Calif., in September 2000 and one in Dana Point, Calif., in January.rose 2.8%.The company said the September opening of a new store in Pasadena, Calif., did not contribute significantly to the increase in sales.The company

LOS ANGELES -- Arden Group here said sales increases in the third quarter and first nine months, both ended Sept. 29, could be attributed to the openings of a new store in Irvine, Calif., in September 2000 and one in Dana Point, Calif., in January.

rose 2.8%.

The company said the September opening of a new store in Pasadena, Calif., did not contribute significantly to the increase in sales.

The company also noted an increase in operating expenses as a percent of sales this year. Arden said workers' compensation premiums increased significantly. The opening of the Irving, Dana Point and Pasadena stores also increased expenses. In addition, the company had increased promotional expenses this year due to a 50th anniversary promotion, as well as an expanded direct-marketing program.