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Retailers Report Modest Sales Gains in April

Posted - May 5, 2004 at 12:16 p.m.



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(New York-AP) -- Retailers are reporting modest sales increases in April, after the strong results in the first three months of the year.

Cool weather, particularly in the Northeast, hurt results at many stores. Also, Michael Niemira (nee-MY'-ruh), chief economist at The International Council of Shopping Centers, says a fairly early Easter prompted many consumers to do their shopping in March, depressing last month's business.

Wal-Mart, Limited Brands and Talbots are among the retailers reporting lackluster sales.

Wal-Mart announced a gain of four-point-four percent in April at stores open at least a year, slightly below the estimate of Wall Street analysts. Total sales were up nearly 12 percent at Wal-Mart.

Limited Brands reported a two percent increase in same-store sales for April, below the four-point-eight percent forecast.

Talbots had an anemic three-tenths of a percent gain in same-store sales.

But membership discounter Costco Wholesale's April same-store sales rose ten percent, the eighth consecutive month of double-digit growth.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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