By  on July 28, 2008

NEW YORK — Manufacturers are tightening their seat belts for a bumpy ride at next week’s spring market here.

August is typically not among the biggest seasonal markets, taking a backseat to the February and November venues. But the nation’s credit crunch and dismal retail environment have transformed the upcoming market into a pivotal moment for retailers and vendors. Following the cautious mood of merchants in May and lackluster second-quarter results at stores, orders for spring are expected to be reevaluated, edited and, in some cases, dropped. Retailers want to keep inventories tight and narrow, with a focus on key items that will tempt consumers, as well as replenishable goods, especially top-performing brands that convey a certain cachet and higher quality.

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