By and  on May 7, 2004

NEW YORK — Forget that the stock market fell 69 points on Thursday and that April comparable-store sales were down from March. There are luxury goods and colorful fashions in stores — and shoppers are gobbling them up.

Clothing and shoes were a bright spot in an otherwise tepid April, which was chilled by an early Easter as well as abnormally low temperatures in key markets. In fact, the apparel sector has reported dramatic growth — $20 billion on a year-over-year basis — so it isn’t surprising that comps flexed muscle at high-end department stores and specialty retailers.

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