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Same-stores sales still slow

NEW YORK — With the nation's big discounters turning in a surprisingly poor performance, same-store retail sales limped ahead just 1.3 percent during the fourth and final week of April, the Johnson Redbook Index reported.

Softening steadily throughout the month, discounter sales edged up just 1.1 percent during the week, after starting the month on a stronger note with a 1.7 percent gain. In a remarkable shift, department stores outperformed discounters during each of the four weeks of April, and during the closing week of the month pushed comps higher 1.5 percent.

Overall retail sales have weakened progressively through the month, and for all of April same-store sales edged up a skimpy 1.5 percent, missing a target of 1.9 percent growth.

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