Seasonally adjusted shoe store sales in the U.S. reached a near-record of $2,411 million in March, up 7.9 percent from the same month a year ago, according to Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America (FDRA), an organization that federates retailers accounting for an estimated 80 percent of the market. It was the second-highest growth rates recorded in more than five years, and it marked the 28th straight monthly increase year-on-year in the U.S. economy – the longest streak of expansion in more than two decades. Meanwhile, Brown Shoe Company reported a better than expected performance for the first quarter of this year. Sales rose by 1 percent to $626.4 million. Net income declined, but it rose by 42.8 percent to $10 million on an adjusted basis. We'll discuss Brown Shoe's results in more detail in the next issue, which will also report on Genesco's results, due to be announced on Wednesday, and those of other major American shoe retailers.