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Discounters Fare Well on Consumable Sales

Discount retailers fared well during the third quarter, despite a slowdown in consumer spending and elevated gas prices that crimped sales for many companies, including department stores, according to the Associated Press.

The best performer on the eight-stock Dow Jones U.S. Broadline Retailers Index was Family Dollar Stores Inc., whose shares soared 26.1% during the quarter.

Strong demand for consumables benefited the retailer during the period, especially in August when same-store sales rose 3.6% and topped Wall Street expectations. Same-store sales is an important industry metric that measures sales at stores open at least one year.

Wal-Mart Stores' stock also advanced during the period, rising 4%. Sales of consumables also helped the world's largest retailer, along with demand for back-to-school items. Shares of rival Target Corp. gained 1.9% during the period.