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NEW YORK CITY-Same-store sales declined 2.4% in April year over year as retailers were impacted by Easter falling a week earlier this year and unseasonably cold weather. These factors impacted retailers across the board, according to an International Council of Shopping Centers report.

Apparel chains were hit the hardest, posting a 10.1% decline as a group. Nearly all of the chains surveyed in the ICSC report had significant declines. For example, Cato Corp. fell 21%, Gap Inc. dropped 16% and Abercrombie & Fitch slid 15%. Limited Brands, a strong performer for the last several months, came out best, with only a 1% decline.

Discount chains, falling 4,6% as a group, also had across-the-board dives. Target, usually the strongest-performer in the sector, was down 6.1%, Wal-Mart fell 4.6% and Family Dollar plummeted 4.9%. TJX Cos. came out less scathed, with a 1% dip.

Department stores were more mixed but still fell 4.5% as a group. Big drops were reported by Dillards (14%) and Kohl’s (10.5%). But luxury chains appeared to fare relatively well, with Nordstrom rising 3.1%.

Wholesale clubs seemed to feel less impact from the Easter shift and weather, as those chains were up 4.6%. Costco rose 7%, while Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Clubs rose 2.5%. However, BJ’s Wholesale posted a 2.1% decline.

ICSC is hoping for a better performance this month, as its research team predicts a 2% to 2.5% increase year over year.

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