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Easter Bunny Showed Up Early for Gap, Wal-Mart

Gap
CNBC.com
Gap

, but Citigroup analyst Kimberly Greenberger wants to see continuous growth before she believes in store like Gap again. She and J.P. Morgan broadline retail analyst Charles Grom gave their industry opinions on "Power Lunch."

Greenberger noted that an earlier Easter this year meant Gap and Banana Republic ran sales specials in March -- a month earlier than in 2006. She told CNBC's Sue Herera that she's reserving judgment on the stores' turnaround programs. She praised American Eagle Outfitters' 20% rise in same-store sales -- "the best in the sector" -- but she remains leery of the teen clothier's implied guidance for April.

Grom said Wal-Mart Stores had a similar story: the world's biggest retailer beat March expectations with a 4% rise in same-store sales, but it expects U.S. same-store sales to come in between flat and 2% lower in April.

But Grom is overweight in CostcoWholesale and BJ's Wholesale Club, calling them plays on an economic slowdown. And he thinks Costco, as a "slightly upscale" discounter, will gain share from Wal-Mart's more posh Sam's Club business.

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