Wal-Mart Easter Sales Beat Expectations

BENTONVILLE, Ark. - Wal-Mart said sales of Easter-related apparel and merchandise through April 9 beat its expectations and says it expects total April sales at U.S. stores open at least a year to rise between 4 percent and 6 percent.

Wal-Mart said food and Easter items were the best-selling categories, despite holiday candy demand being roughly the same as last year.

Because Easter fell nine days earlier this year than last, some of the holiday demand was pushed into the March sales period, according to Wal-Mart, which had cautioned earlier that the timing could make it tougher to achieve strong April same-store sales ratios.

The Northeast and Midwest were the company's strongest regions, where Wal-Mart reported increases in both shopper count and average transaction amount.
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