By  on November 4, 2010

The two ends of the retail spectrum held up well in October, but the middle weakened, raising concerns about what holiday holds for midtier department stores and middle-income consumers.

The worries are manifold, ranging from consumer confidence to inflation. Five midmarket department stores — J.C. Penney Co. Inc., Kohl’s Corp., Dillard’s Inc., The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. and Stage Stores Inc. — all reported declines in their comparable-store sales results on Thursday, casting doubt on how they’ll perform in the retail year’s final quarter.

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