The NY Times presents:
Only a handful of chains on Thursday reported an increase in sales at stores open at least a year, a measure of retail health. Wal-Mart Stores, the nation’s largest retailer and a bellwether for the industry, had a 1.4 percent increase over March 2008, not including fuel. Other discount stores like TJX and Ross Stores, as well as some teenage apparel chains, also fared well.
But a majority of the nation’s retailers continued to suffer sales declines. Abercrombie & Fitch was most notable, with a stunning 34 percent drop that analysts attributed to its strategy of not offering the same deep discounts as its competitors. Sales at other mall apparel chains and department stores remained weak.