MAKING ROOM FOR FALL: Last week's 100-degree heat helped spur sales at Wal-Mart, boosting efforts to clear out summer goods as the back-to-school season approaches.
Wall Street analysts said sales of seasonal goods such as shorts, T-shirts and fans were strong at the chain, especially its stores in the Northeast. Wal-Mart now sees a 6 percent same-store gain for July, analysts said.
A visit to Wal-Mart in Allentown, Pa., on Monday revealed an abundance of markdowns, including the chain's strong-selling White Stag and Kathie Lee Gifford labels. White Stag short-sleeved rayon camp tops were reduced from $14.94 to $12.94, and White Stag 100 percent cotton slacks dropped from $12.94 to $9. Wal-Mart also displayed a rack of spring Kathie Lee merchandise, the chain's signature private label, at 25 percent off for skirts, tops and blouses. Prices ranged from $11 to $17. Gitano sleeveless cotton tops also were reduced to $7 from $10.92.
Across the street, Kmart featured a "Red Dot 35 percent off clearance sale," with cotton slipdresses reduced to $10, Sasson jeans as low as $8 and Bonjour 100 percent cotton shorts at $8.99.
Caldor has also stepped up its fashion clearance efforts, advertising some merchandise at 40 percent below previously reduced prices.
This included spring and summer knit tops, priced as low as $3, and selected pants and skirts, reduced to between $4.80 and $10.80.
Denim dresses and jumpers, regularly priced from $19.99 to $26.99 were reduced 30 percent.

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