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August Retail Sales Shy of Hopes

Wall Street Journal (09/05/13) Anna Prior

Apparel retailers performed poorer than expected in August, while consumers spent money instead on furniture, automobiles, and building supplies. Same-store apparel sales grew 2.9% in August, below expectations of 3.2% growth.

Mall traffic is low, promotional activity is high, and retailers are performing poorly compared with last year’s back-to-school season. Because the back-to-school season is typically indicative of holiday sales, retailers are worried about November and December sales.