Wal-Mart Sees March Sales at Low End of Forecast

NEW YORK - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Monday said U.S. sales for its latest week were hurt by a difficult comparison to a year-ago period that included Easter, and that it now sees March same-store sales growth at the low end of its previously predicted range, Reuters reports.

The world's largest retailer also said it continues to see some "CNN effect," as news from the war in Iraq keeps consumers in front of televisions instead of shopping.

Wal-Mart previously said it expects March same-store sales to rise by a low, single digit percentage. It now sees same-store sales at the low end of that range, based on sales through last
Friday.

Wal-Mart still has days remaining in the five-week period ending April 4. It said comparisons should be easier for the final week of the period.

The strongest selling categories last week were intimate apparel, ladies, swimwear, pet care, automotive, paint, hardware, lawn and garden, and over-the-counter pharmacy. The strongest U.S. regions were Midwest and South Central.
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