FINANCE

Nationwide Chain Store Sales Slow in First Week of March

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, The Johnson Redbook Index said U.S. chain stores reported slow sales in the first week of March as heavy rain hindered shopping. Sales at major retailers were up 2.4% on a year-over-year basis for the week ended March 4, following a 3.0% rise in the prior week, the independent company said. Sales at U.S. retailers so far in March were down 2.5% when compared with the same period in February.

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FINANCE

Consumer Spending Expected to Rise in March

BY CSA STAFF

Columbus, Ohio, Retail Forward’s Future Spending Index reported consumer spending should rise in March from last month. The overall index improved to 101.6, the highest level since September. Spending should be weaker than a year ago, however, because the latest index is a shade lower than in March 2005. “Underpinning the projected increase in sales this month are the lagging effects of the housing market boom and signs that debt loads have become less of a drag on ability to spend,” Retail Forward economist Steve Spiwak said. “The uneven job market recovery from last year’s post-hurricane disruption will continue to discourage spending among some shoppers as spring approaches, however.”

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REAL ESTATE

American Eagle Selects Sites for Martin + Osa

BY CSA STAFF

Pittsburgh, American Eagle Outfitters’ new Martin + Osa concept will debut in four locations, starting in August. The stores will be in Tysons Corner Center, McLean, Va,; Fashion Island, Newport Beach, Calif.; NorthPark Center, Dallas, and San Francisco Center. The stores, from 6,500- to 7,500-sq.-ft., are targeted at men and women 25 years to 40 years old.

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