By and  on October 8, 2009

Less bad was more than good enough for retailers reporting September same-store sales Thursday as cooler weather combined with a later Labor Day, and perhaps even some pent-up demand, to give results a slight lift.

While declines still outnumbered gains, although by a smaller margin, many stores beat their own expectations and those of analysts. A number of companies boosted earnings projections for the third quarter and beyond even as they “anniversaried” the onset of the credit crisis. Aiding the quest for higher profits was a continuing emphasis on inventory control, which some experts fear could put fourth-quarter sales opportunities at risk.

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