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July comp sales show some pop

New York — Scorching hot weather apparently sent shoppers into the malls for the air conditioning and warm-weather apparel, and key retailers across the nation reported mostly strong same-store sales during July.

The Johnson Redbook Same-Store Flash Report, which tracks 63 major retailers, said its monthly index was up 3.7%, improving on a 3.1% gain in June. Results still lagged the 4.7% increase recorded in May.

But the month was not without its disappointments. Target continued to stumble, its same-store sales rising a disappointing 3.1%, well off from its former high-flying pace, and beneath the 3.8% Wall Street had been expecting.

Even though its core low-income customer base has been hard hit by rising gas prices, Wal-Mart Stores did modestly better than expected, pushing its comps up by 2.3%, a big improvement over the 1.2% increase in June.

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