WASHINGTON — Sales at apparel and specialty stores and department stores fell in October, in line with a decline in overall retail sales, which could have been impacted by the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast in late October, according to the U.S. Commerce Department’s monthly retail sales report released on Wednesday.
Apparel and specialty stores posted a 0.1 percent seasonally adjusted decrease to $18.8 billion in October compared with September, while sales at department stores fell 0.3 percent to $14 billion last month. Sales at general merchandise stores, a category that includes department stores and discounters showed the only sign of strength with a 0.2 percent increase to $50.7 billion.
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