Chain store sales grew 1.4% in the week ended March 16, and were up 2.3% year-over-year, according to the ICSC/Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index.

"Sales were stronger over the past week as weather turned more moderate--for the moment--and business strengthened for grocery stores, apparel stores, discounters and wholesale clubs," said Michael Niemira, ICSC vice president of research and chief economist. "However, with the projected cold front blanketing in the U.S. this week, retailers will struggle to entice consumers to buy those spring and Easter apparel items."

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