By and and  on August 22, 2014

U.S. retailers are happy to have the second quarter behind them, but they’re hardly breathing a sigh of relief as they catch their breaths.

A large group of stores reported quarterly earnings on Thursday and even those to emerge relatively unscathed from the persistent promotional pressures of the period were careful to keep their customary optimism about the second half, and particularly holiday, in check. While they plot strategies to mitigate those pressures and avoid price battles, they acknowledged the hair-trigger nature of discounting, whether prompted by direct competition or consumers’ increasing tendency to do their shopping and price comparison online.

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