Retailers’ same-store sales were flat in March, due in part to an early Easter, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Thomson Financial Same Store Sales Index, projected to sink 0.1%, fell 1.1%, excluding Wal-Mart. Shoppers weren’t ready to buy for spring on the heels of winter, store closings for the holiday reduced sales, and consumer sentiment his a five-year low amid still-rising fuel prices.
Because of the holiday, which warped results, some say consumer confidence will be clearer after April. Among the hardest-hit stores was Gap, which saw an 18% drop in same-store sales, more than twice the fall analysts predicted. Wal-Mart posted a .7% increase excluding fuel, on the low side of its expectations, while Target, Kohl’s, and Stage Stores all reported same-store sales that fell below predictions.