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Cato Same-store Sales Decline 3 Percent In May

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) ¿ Women's apparel retailer Cato Corp. said Thursday its same-store sales fell 3 percent in May, as results a year ago were boosted by government stimulus checks.

Same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, are a key measure of retailer performance, because they measure growth at existing stores rather than from newly opened ones.

Total sales declined 3 percent to $78.1 million from $80.5 million a year ago.

Sales for the 17 weeks ended May 30 rose 3 percent to $316.2 million from $306.3 million a year ago.

Same-store sales so far this year have declined 1 percent.

"We believe the benefit of the stimulus checks last year will continue to have an effect on same-store sales results in June," Chief Executive John Cato said in a statement.

The company owns the Cato and It's Fashion line of clothing stores.

Cato operates 1,329 stores in 32 states.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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