All participants will be in a listen-only mode. Jennifer Mejia Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us to discuss our third quarter results.
Today's call will be archived for approximately 30 days on our Investor Relations website located at investors. As a reminder, we will be making forward-looking statements, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from these statements.
Any such statements should be considered in conjunction with cautionary statements in our earnings release and risk factor discussions in our filings with the SEC, including our last Annual Report on Form K and cautionary statements made during this call.
We assume no obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements or information. Please refer to our Investor Relations website at dicks.
With that, I will now turn the call over to Ed. Edward Stack Thanks Jen, and good morning everyone. Adjusted for the calendar shift due to the 53rd week last year our consolidated same-store sales declined 3. Comp sales were in the range of our expectations for the quarter.
As expected sales were negatively impacted by the continued weakness in hunt and electronics which contributed approximately basis points comps decline. Despite these challenges we are focused on driving profitable sales and managing our business to deliver higher earnings.
Merchandise margin expanded basis points during the quarter as we benefited from the mix of the sales decline in low margin hunt and electronics categories, fewer promotions, and improved products cycle. This merchandise margin expansion drove an improvement in gross margin which increased by 72 basis points.
Looking ahead, we will continue to optimize our assortment with a stronger emphasis on key items and a renewed focus on the enthusiasts athletes.
We remain encouraged by the improved products we're seeing from many of our partners and are optimistic about the pipeline into next year. Our relationships with many of these partners have never been stronger and we will continue to work together to elevate the assortment and presentations at DICK'S.
Our private brands continued to grow and are an integral part of our strategy to track differentiation and exclusivity in our assortment. We've seen great success in expanding our existing brands into new categories and that will be a priority going forward.
We will also be launching new brands. Earlier this quarter we launched the outdoor apparel brand Alpine Design and have been very pleased with the early success. We expect our private brands to continue to deliver growth for us well into the future.
Finally, we continue to reallocate floor space to growth categories in key brands and adapt our product offering to better align with the categories our athletes demand. Late in the third quarter we removed virtually all hunt products from 10 DICK'S stores and the category underperforms, have replaced it with more compelling assortments and categories such as baseball, licensed products and outer wear.
Though it's too early to discuss performance we're optimistic these changes will better serve the athletes in these communities. In closing, we're confident in the future of our business and believe we can strengthen our leadership position going forward.Turner’s Outdoorsman, California’s leading hunting, shooting, and fishing specialty stores, began in as a single store in Long Beach.
Throughout the years, we have grown to 24 stores, located throughout Southern California.
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