By  on November 16, 2011

WASHINGTON — Modest retail price inflation in October has put certain segments of the retail community on alert as merchants head into the prime holiday shopping season.

Retailers are casting a cautious eye on their pricing power as they navigate the delicate balancing act of passing on higher raw material prices to avoid taking a significant hit on margins without alienating beleaguered consumers shopping for holiday gifts. Luxury stores should fare well even in the face of retail price inflation this holiday season, but analysts are concerned about the impact it will have on department stores and discounters that may not have as much price flexibility and could see profits slashed.

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