By  on September 30, 2008

As Wall Street's financial tremors keep rumbling, several Madison Avenue retailers are bracing themselves for what could be a long stretch of even more uncertain times while already struggling to woo shoppers this fall.

Last week, sales associates at 25 stores surveyed were suddenly having to face the fallout, which could be seen in the cautiousness of price-sensitive and indecisive clients, a rash of returns and moratoriums on shopping. Compounding the problem is a slight slowdown in European visitors, who are now thinking twice about visiting the U.S. due to the weakening euro against the dollar. When the currency was stronger this summer, European shoppers made the most of the exchange rate in what one saleswoman described as “abusing the dollar,” and substantially boosted sales.

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