By  on March 7, 2013

The 2013 retail calendar got off to an uninspiring start following a mass exodus of retailers from monthly reporting and tepid results among those still participating in the ritual.

Stores generally bested analysts’ expectations but fell well short of their year-ago performances as wintry weather, delays in tax refunds, budgetary uncertainty in Washington and higher gas prices conspired to keep many consumers away from stores following the holiday season and a January dominated by clearance activity.

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