NEW YORK - Chain store sales improved 0.5% in the week ended April 7, as the Easter holiday fell earlier in the year, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Snapshot released Tuesday.

Year-over-year, sales strengthened to a 4.5% increase.

"The early Easter provided a last minute sales incentive for consumers who needed to finish up shopping for holiday-related items this past week," said Michael Niemira, ICSC vice president of research and chief economist. "As we progress through the month we may see some sales volatility as a result of the Easter shift," added Niemira.

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