By  on January 14, 2011

WASHINGTON — Two key U.S. government reports released Friday highlightedthe slow road to recovery ahead for the apparel sector.

Specialtystore sales dropped a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent in Decembercompared with the previous month to $18.7 billion and department storessales fell 1.9 percent to $15.4 billion, the Commerce Department said.General merchandise stores, a category that includes discounters anddepartment stores, saw sales decline 0.7 percent to $51.4 billion.

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