By  on March 13, 2014

WASHINGTON — Sales at specialty and department stores bounced back a bit in February from the effects of a harsh winter, in line with an uptick in retail sales in the overall economy, the Commerce Department’s monthly sales report showed Thursday.

Apparel and accessories stores posted a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent increase in sales to $20.9 billion compared with January, while department stores notched a 0.7 percent sales gain to $14.1 billion. General merchandise stores, a category that includes discounters and department stores, saw a 0.3 percent decline in sales to $54.4 billion last month.

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