The Fresh Market on Thursday said sales from new stores exceeded expectations and helped the specialty retailer post sales and earnings slightly ahead of analyst estimates during the fiscal second quarter. Net sales for the period, which ended July 27, increased 19% to $422.2 million, and comparable store sales improved by 2.9% reflecting a 2.7% increase in the number of transactions and a 0.2% increase in average transaction size. Gross margin as a percent of sales decreased slightly to 34% ...

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