November Retail Disappoints

Retailers reporting same-store sales for the month Thursday generally had increases for the Thanksgiving weekend, but they were insufficient to prevent the month from ending up as an unseasonably flavorless turkey. Landlords are also struggling with the retail real estate crisis, and have resorted to giving tenants rent reductions and finding creative ways to lease space. Even Melrose Avenue, once among the hottest retail and fashion strips, is feeling the chill of the disastrous economy. In hopes of turning the tide, the nation’s retailers appear poised to ratchet up promotions and trigger contingencies aimed at stirring shoppers.There is still a sliver of good news in retail, however. With outlets tracking better than other store sectors, Simon Property Group Inc. has seized the moment by inking an agreement to buy Prime Outlets in a deal valued at about $2.33 billion, including the assumption of Prime’s debt and preferred stock. And, according to the Labor Department, department stores added 7,500 jobs to employ 1.52 million people, recouping part of the revised 12,400 jobs cut from payrolls in October.Neiman Marcus Net Falls, But Progress Seen

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