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Retail sales stage rally

New York — With a delayed Easter holiday season finally getting under way, same-store retail sales staged a strong recovery after five straight weeks of decline, climbing higher by 2.0 percent during the first week of April. But they still fell short of the targets set for both department stores and discounters.

The Redbook Retail Sales Average improved by 2.0 percent over year-ago levels during the week, regaining much of the ground it had lost in a steep 2.5 percent decline during the final week of March. But it still wasn't enough, falling well shy of a targeted increase of 2.9 percent.

Discounters, predictably, showed strength, with a 5.6 percent increase coming close to a target of 5.8 percent. But full-price department stores remained weak, with sales falling by 3.6 percent, worse than a forecast drop of 1.8 percent.

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