By and  on June 11, 2009

WASHINGTON — While specialty stores joined with the overall economy in registering small gains in retail sales last month, department store sales were down and yearly comparisons still show the depths of the struggling economy.

Sales at specialty stores advanced a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent compared with April, while department stores dropped 0.7 percent, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. However, compared with a year earlier, specialty store sales decreased 7 percent to $17.3 billion and department store sales fell 7.1 percent to $15.8 billion.

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