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HFN COMP-SALES AVERAGE SHOWS SLIGHT GAIN IN APRIL.

NEW YORK-April same-store sales were a washout for many retailers as lousy weather and weak Easter-related spending hampered business. Still, results were slightly better than March's dismal sales.

Subsequently, the HFN Comp-Sales Average showed a 0.4 percent gain for April, compared with March's 1.6 percent decline.

Same-store sales for the month showed modest gains for key retailers. Wal-Mart posted a 5.1 percent increase.

Target's same-store sales rose 3.9 percent. Dollar General and Big Lots reported increases of 5.9 and 7.3 percent, respectively.

Retailers posting negative same-store sales included Dillard's with a 2 percent decrease, as well as May Department Stores and Federated Department Stores, which saw declines of 5.6 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.

It's important to note that Wal-Mart, Target, Sears and J.C. Penney all missed their sales forecasts for the month.

At Sears, management said sales in its hard-lines segment fell, which was due to stores being closed on Easter. "Hard-line revenues declined, partially due to our Easter store closing and strong seasonal product sales in March," said Alan Lacy, chairman and chief executive officer.

One bright spot at retail was Restoration Hardware, with a reported same-store sales increase of 18 percent.

"Customer response to our new strategy, which launched last April, continues to build," said Gary Friedman, president and CEO.
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Title Annotation:April 2003 same-store sales data, US
Comment:HFN COMP-SALES AVERAGE SHOWS SLIGHT GAIN IN APRIL.(April 2003 same-store sales data, US)
Author:Zaczkiewicz, Arthur; Weber, Nathan
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 12, 2003
Words:222
Previous Article:NEWS BRIEFS.
Next Article:KMART APPOINTS ATTEBERRY DIVISIONAL VP OF HOME.
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