By  on October 29, 2008

Northern California’s Silicon Valley, an incubator of consumer affluence as well as technological innovation, is starting to feel the impact of the financial crisis — creating a chill for industry retailers.

“The economic fears really grabbed us here on Sept. 22 with the stock market meltdown,” said Robert Reedy, a senior vice president with RMSA retail consultants, who advises 35 independent fashion boutiques in the San Francisco Bay Area, including several in Silicon Valley. He has told merchants to prepare for potential sales declines of about 20 percent.

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