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Easter 2004 Retail Sales Summary

May 1, 2004

Retail Sales Summary

Distribution Channel $ Sales % Change vs. Year Ago  Unit Sales % Change vs. Year Ago
Food, Drug, Mass  excluding Wal-Mart -1.7% +3.9%
Food Outlets -4.5% +3.2%
Retail Drug Stores +4.8% +5.7%
Mass Outlets Excluding Wal-Mart -5.5% +1.6%



An initial review of Easter dollar sales may indicate that Easter candy sales were off this year, however; a look at unit sales shows the true strength of Easter sales in 2004. Easter candy sales had strong increases across all channels in the mass markets led by a 5.7 percent increase in unit sales at retail drug stores. It is in this comparison between unit sales and dollar sales that one can see the effect on pricing of the frequent shopper cards favored by supermarket retailers. Typically a 3.2 percent increase in unit sales would indicate and even larger increase in dollar sales.

Across all mass retail outlets, chocolate Easter candy unit sales increased 6.1 percent in 2004 but non-chocolate unit sales declined 2.5 percent. It is projected that Easter candy sales will show a 5-7 percent increase in dollar sales when figures are revised this summer.