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Early Easter takes bite out April sales


New York -- An early Easter that drew shoppers into stores in March and slowing economic growth helped cut into retailers’ April sales results.

At Costco Wholesale Corp., April same-store sales were flat, slightly below analysts’ estimates, primarily due to the strong U.S. dollar and lower gas prices. Sales at U.S. stores increased 2% for the four weeks ended May 3. Internationally, sales fell 4%.

Total revenue inched up 2% to $8.75 billion.

Taking away the lower gas prices and fluctuations in foreign currency, Costco's same-store sales rose 7%.

Here are some other same-store sales results for April:

• L Brands Inc. reported a 1% decrease. Analysts had expected a decrease of 0.1%. Net sales rose 1% to $724.6 million in April. The company said that the negative impact on sales due to the timing of the Easter holiday was approximately five points.

• The Buckle Inc. had a 3.8% decrease. Net sales for all stores fell 1.7% and totaled $74.3 million for the month.

• Cato Corp. reported a 14% decline.

Sales for the first quarter ended May 2, 2015 were $281.6 million, down from $282.5 million for year ago period. Same-store sales for the first quarter decreased 3%.

• Stein Mart Inc. reported a worse-than-expected 1.5% decrease. Total sales for the month were $109.1 million, up 0.9% from a year ago.

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