By and and  on October 8, 2008

Credit jitters collided with already anemic consumer demand and even a trio of hurricanes to send September same-store sales results to their low point for the year, reducing already sober holiday expectations even further.

Although Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s U.S. stores eked out a 2.4 percent gain in comparable-store sales, just missing analysts’ predictions of a 2.5 percent pickup, retailers, particularly department stores, got clobbered by the effects of the global financial crisis and Hurricanes Gustav, Hanna and Ike, causing many to slash third-quarter guidance and a few to even question if their already miserly management of inventories has been sharp enough to minimize their exposure heading into the holiday season.

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