With retail sales having their biggest drop in record in October, the holiday shopping season is looking pretty bleak. How bad will it be? Scott Jagow gets the report from Marketplace's retail maven, Stacey Vanek-Smith.
Is it really so bad that consumer confidence continues to erode? Commentator Amity Shlaes says that if consumers aren't spending, then they're saving, investing or beefing up that college fund, and that can be a good thing.
As economic worries tighten consumer budgets, a new shopping trend has emerged -- shoppers are returning merchandise to stores in record numbers. Beth Teitell says this buy-then-bring-back behavior is called "circle shopping."
A dreary holiday season has been foreshadowed for months, but how bad is it really going to be? Stacey Vanek-Smith reports some figures have losses down $30 billion from last year, but not everyone will do so bad.
When a store goes into bankruptcy, what happens to the plastic gift cards people haven't redeemed? Circuit City, for example, has asked the bankruptcy court to allow it to honor the cards, but no decision yet. Renita Jablonski reports.