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Same-store sales hit growth target

NEW YORK — Helped by stronger fashion assortments at the nation's department stores, as well as sales of warm-weather merchandise, same-store retail sales came in modestly ahead of plan during the second week of May, rising 4.8 percent from year-ago levels, and improving on a 4.7 percent increase the week before.

For the two weeks month-to-date, May sales are up 4.7 percent from last year's level, slightly ahead of a targeted gain of 4.6 percent, the Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index reported. Month-over-month, sales so far in May are up 0.7 percent from April levels, compared with a targeted 0.6 percent increase.

The overall index was buoyed by the continued resurgence at the nation's department stores. Sales in that full-price channel of distribution climbed 2.9 percent during the week, improving on a 2.5 percent increase the preceding week. Measured on a month-to-date basis, department store sales are running ahead of plan, with a 2.7 percent increase besting a target of 2.3 percent.

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