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Retail sales up as departments beat discounters

NEW YORK — Led by an unexpectedly strong performance of the nation's full-price department stores, same-store retail sales jumped by 6.3 percent during the third week of March, The Redbook Average reported.

Department store sales ran up by 6.5 percent, improving on a 4.2 percent increase during the previous week. Remarkably, department stores recorded a sharper gain than discounters, where sales advanced by 6.1 percent, the first time in recent memory that full-price retailers grew their sales at a faster pace than mass merchants.

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