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Retail sales rise modestly

NEW YORK — Improving after a lackluster, broadly soft performance in April, same-store retail sales improved 3.2 percent during the first week of May, coming in slightly ahead of a target of a 3.0 percent increase, the Johnson Redbook reported.

Both department stores and discounters came in ahead of plan, with department stores reporting a 2.9 percent boost, beating a target of 2.4 percent growth. Discounter sales rose 3.5 percent, slightly ahead of a planned 3.4 percent.

"Results were mixed in the first week," reported Redbook analyst Catlin Levis. "There was variation among merchandise leaders. Discounters reported steady business in food and basic consumables. Seasonal business was mixed among department stores, with some citing cold and rainy weather across much of the country as a damper on business."

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