CHICAGO — Midwestern retailers attending the recent summer market at the Chicago Apparel Center came with broader shoulders based on a pickup in business, as they sought out uplifting merchandise in bright, cheery colors.

Susan McCullough, vice president for apparel at Merchandise Mart Properties, which manages the Apparel Center, said, “The stores seem to be very positive. We didn’t hear the moaning and groaning that we have in the past. They were doing a lot of buying.”

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