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March was Kind, But Retailers Are Worried About April


The Easter shift helped make March a good month for retailers with same-store sales rising a higher-than-expected 5.7 percent (compared with projections of a 4 percent gain).

The early tally of a majority of the nation's top 52 chain stores reporting to Thomson Financial showed 79% outpacing Wall Street's expectations.

At the International Council of Shopping Centers, the cumulative gain of same-store sales, the industry's most important gauge of growth measuring sales at stores open longer than a year, stood at 5.7% -- markedly better than the 3% to 4% increase projected.

But there's talk emerging that April has not gone nearly as well.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which released its monthly results along with other merchants on Thursday, expects the current month to be "tough." Federated Stores Inc. said that its first-quarter sales will come in at the low end of expectations. And Children's Place Retail Stores Inc. warned that its first-quarter earnings per share would fall short of Wall Street forecasts.

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Elaine Misonzhnik

Senior associate editor Elaine Misonzhnik has been writing for National Real Estate Investor since June 2006 and has covered commercial real estate for more than 12 years. She first became...
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