Analysts say cool weather and an early Easter are to blame for lower sales. Such discounters as Wal-Mart and Target bucked the trend and outperformed the industry in April.
About 25% of grocery retailers use self-checkouts, with 25% of sales volume going through them, a study has found. Sales through self-checkouts reportedly could pass $1 billion by 2003.
Consumers boosted retail sales for April in the biggest increase in six months, reports say. Shoppers bought more cars, building materials, health care and beauty products last month, in addition to eating out more.
Northern Californians reportedly are signing up for Safeway's Internet shopping services at a rate of 1,000 customers per day. An average shopping order is 52 items per delivery, the company says.
Experts speculate Asda is to take on Wal-Mart's name due to slogan changes and the use of the Wal-Mart name on bags and shopping carts.
U.S. retail sales at discount, chain and department stores fell 0.1% in the first three weeks of April.