By  on April 14, 2013

WASHINGTON — Economists and retail experts said unseasonably cold weather in March led to the 0.4 percent decline in retail sales reflected in the Commerce Department’s monthly report released on Friday.

The weather dampened consumer demand and drove down sales at department stores a seasonably adjusted 1.1 percent to $14.6 billion last month and declined 1.2 percent to $51.1 billion at general merchandise stores, a category that includes discounters and department stores.

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