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Discount Chains Emerge as Holiday Winners as Apparel Suffers

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Discount chains such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Costco Wholesale Corp. look like the winners from the holiday season.

In the first 27 days of December, discounters were on pace to post their best monthly sales gain in more than two years, according to figures collected by payment-technology firm First Data. Revenue rose 8.3 percent, which would be the biggest increase since August 2012. The gains were primarily driven by shoppers making more store visits than before.