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Published: Friday, 9/6/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Retailers wince at weak back-to-school sales

BLADE NEWS SERVICES

NEW YORK — Americans’ cautious spending on clothing extended into August, capping a weak back-to-school selling season for retailers.

Several retailers including clothiers Cato Corp. and L Brands Inc. on Thursday posted disappointing revenue during the month, which falls in the middle of the second biggest shopping period of the year.

The results raise questions about whether Americans will spend during the winter holidays in November and December, a time retailers can make up to 40 percent of their revenue for the year. While the back-to-school season, which runs from mid-July through mid-September, isn’t an absolute predictor of how Americans will spend during the winter holidays, it does offer insight into consumers’ mind-set.

Only a sliver of retail chains report monthly sales figures, and the list doesn’t include Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Macy’s Inc. and many other large chains.



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