PHILADELPHIA (AP) ¿ Destination Maternity Corp. said unfavorable weather, a difficult comparison and the ongoing struggles of the retail sector during the recession contributed to an 11.6 percent drop in a key sales figure in November.

Still, the maternity apparel retailer said the results were in line with its expectations for a monthly decline between 10 percent and 12.5 percent.

This sales figure is a key indicator of retailer performance since it measures growth at existing stores rather than newly opened ones.

Adjusting for one more Monday and one less Saturday compared with the prior-year period, sales at stores open at least a year fell about 8.1 percent in November. This was in range of Destination's forecast for a decline of 6.5 percent to 9 percent on an adjusted basis.

Total monthly sales slipped 3.1 percent to $42.7 million.

Retailers have come under pressure during the recession as shoppers have pulled back considerably on their spending and continue to seek out discounts and trade down.

Destination Maternity currently runs 721 stores, 980 leased department locations and 1,701 total retail locations.
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