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Most retailers still struggling

Shoppers carry packages in Chicago.

TEXT OF STORY

Renita Jablonski: With pricey gas and a slumping economy, most consumers aren't exactly going on shopping sprees. Wall Street will be watching for more earnings today from retailers from higher-end chains like Talbots to discounters like Ross Dress-For-Less. Jeff Tyler has more.


Jeff Tyler: Many stores are seeing a drop in sales as consumers wait out the slow economy.

Richard Feinberg: Consumers really are strapped for money, cash flow. And if they don't have to buy another skirt or another blouse or another sport jacket, they're going to put it off.

That's Richard Feinberg, professor of retail management at Purdue University. He says high-end retailers will make out slightly better, since they have wider profit margins and their customers tend to have more money.

Feinberg says many retailers are now looking beyond sales to cutting expenses. He also says the weak dollar could be good for business.

Feinberg: The only thing that'll help retailers is if Europeans come over here and start buying out the store. And I think some of the high-end stores are seeing that.

Americans are starting to receive their government rebate checks. Feinberg says that could be good for retailers, since consumers won't feel quite as broke.

I'm Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeff Tyler is a reporter for Marketplace’s Los Angeles bureau, where he reports on issues related to immigration and Latin America.

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