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Will Retail's Bloom Fade in April?
05 Apr 2012 EDT - CNBC.com
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Retailers turned in very solid gains in March , but the big question now is: can the momentum continue?

If you exclude the drug stores, the Thomson Reuters Same-Store Index rose 6.8 percent in March. That’s well above the monthly same-store gains of 3 percent to 5 percent recorded throughout 2011.

“You are seeing the momentum that kicked off in February continue in March,” said Adrianne Shapira, a broadlines retail analyst at Goldman Sachs.

Although the early spring weather, which prompted shoppers to buy shorts and T-shirts earlier than normal, was a help in March, Shapira said there were other factors at play, including a strong apparel trend toward colorful clothing, particularly denim, and the early timing of Easter .

"So we're seeing the sustainability of some current trends, and that's encouraging," Shapira said.

She added that until now there hasn’t been a new fashion trend to drive consumers to stores in a long while. This trend not only helped Gap , which has been struggling for some time, post a strong same-stores sales gain, but other retailers such as Target , TJX and even Costco are benefiting from consumers who are seeking out colorful new spring clothing.

"You might not love it, but you certainly don't have it," she said.

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