By  on February 3, 2011

January exhibited the balancing act retailers face for all of 2011: keeping inventories lean, but not so low that they lose sales.

Unfortunately, many stores last month cut back too much — and the harsh winter weather didn’t help matters. The International Council of Shopping Centers said retailers logged a 4.8 percent jump in comparable-store sales, which generally bested analysts’ estimates of a 2 to 3 percent rise. But it was clear some stores went into the month light on inventory and came out on the other end light on sales.

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