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Retail sales heat up in June

New York — After being hampered by May's unseasonably cool weather, retail sales got off to a strong start during the first week in June, with same-store sales heading up by almost 4 percent, as sunny weather drew consumers out to the malls and spurred sales of seasonal merchandise.

The Redbook Retail Sales Average climbed by 3.9 percent over year-ago levels, easily besting a targeted goal of 3.0 percent growth. By comparison, same-store sales during the previous week, the final week of May, rose at a more anemic pace of 2.0 percent, chilled out by unseasonably cool weather. Sales for the month-to-date period rose by 2.3 percent above May levels, compared with a target of a 1.5 percent increase.

In a reversal of a year-long trend, even department store sales managed to outpace expectations. Sales for the hard-hit full-price channel were still on the wane but slipped by only 0.6 percent, compared with a forecast drop of 0.9 percent. With a 6.6 percent increase, discounters easily beat a target of 5.4 percent.

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