Retail sales drop, signal uncertain future

October 08, 2008 05:22PM

Weak retail sales in September forecast a difficult holiday season and uncertain new year. Target reported a 3 percent drop in sales, larger than expected. Luxury retailers Neiman Marcus Group and Saks had sharp drops as consumers cut non-essential spending. Mall-based clothing stores including J.C. Penney and American Eagle Outfitters are also in sales slumps. Wal-Mart posted solid sales, including a 2.4 percent gain, but the gain was still below expectations. Retailers are cutting product orders for the crucial holiday season and are unsure how to prepare for the spring in the wake of decreased consumer spending and the financial meltdown.

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