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November chain store sales up 3.5 percent

U.S. chain store sales increased 3.5 percent on a year-over-year basis, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). The gain was the strongest since March, when sales grew 5.9 percent.

However, the ICSC attributed 0.75 percent to 1 percent of the November gain to a calendar mismatch that yielded an extra week of sales this year.

Of retailers that report monthly sales:

• Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart reported comparable-store sales for all its stores -- including international locations -- rose 1.4 percent, including a 4.8 percent gain at the company’s Sam’s Club stores. Net sales rose 8.4 percent to $31.7 billion from $29.27 billion in the same period last year.

• Comparable-store sales at Minneapolis-based Target rose 1.1 percent, while overall sales rose 16.7 percent to $5.97 billion from $5.12 billion in September 2006.

• Issaquah, Wash.-based Costco saw comparable-store sales rise a hearty 9 percent, while overall sales rose 13 percent to $5.72 billion from $5.04 billion last year.

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