Holiday Retailers Take a Different Tack

Cost cutting and lower wholesale prices should help merchants turn a profit, even though sales volume won’t give them much to cheer about.

With sales figures expected to show little or no increase over last year’s dismal tally, retailers will focus efforts on wringing greater profits from each ring of the cash register.

“Profits will be much more the story than sales,” says Mike Niemira, chief economist for the International Council of Shopping Centers. “That’s a function of a lot of factors: cost reductions, store closings, a different product mix and even lower inventories than last year.”

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Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter