NEW YORK – Chain store sales fell 0.5% in the week ended March 24, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Snapshot released Tuesday.

Sales gains slowed to 2.7% growth on a year-over-year basis.

"During this past week business appeared to be softer at department and apparel stores, but, discounters seemingly picked up, thus providing mixed performance for the industry," said Michael Niemira, ICSC vice president of research and chief economist.  "Heading into the last week of the fiscal month, the industry will likely see a stronger pick-up in apparel demand with the early arrival of Easter (April 8, 2012 vs. April 24, 2011) this year," added Niemira.

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