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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Retailers Report Slow September Sales

by Calculated Risk on 10/11/2007 09:22:00 AM

From AP: Retailers Report Slow September Sales

Lingering summer weather and an uncertain economy kept consumers out of malls and stores in September, leaving many of the nation's big retailers with disappointing sales for the month and forcing several to cut their earnings forecasts.

As the store owners reported sales figures Thursday morning, the biggest losers were apparel sellers including Limited Brands Inc. and Mothers Work Inc. Target Corp., J.C. Penney Co., Limited Brands Inc. and Nordstrom Inc. were among those lowering their earnings outlooks.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. posted a modest sales gain that was slightly below analysts' expectations, but raised its third-quarter profit outlook because of cost-cutting.

"Sales are coming in soft, as expected," said Ken Perkins, president of RetailMetrics LLC, a research company in Swampscott, Mass. "It was a perfect storm, a combination of abnormally warm weather, high food and energy prices, a continued sluggish housing marketing and tight credit."
The sharp slowdown in September consumer spending was not a surprise.