Retailers had a middling March, watching their sales improve from a frigid February while struggling to beat their performance from the same month last year.
Two main factors impeded growth last month, according to several reports released Thursday.
Spring weather has been slow to come, leaving shoppers still shivering in cooler-than-usual temperatures. And in March 2013, retailers had the benefit of a revenue bump from Easter, which shifted this year to April 20.
In one report, analyst Ken Perkins of Retail Metrics Inc. said March same-store sales rose 3.5% from a year earlier, beating expectations for a 2.5% boost.
But when stripping out a surprisingly high 5%...