Retailers report sluggish July sales - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Retailers report sluggish July sales

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Retailers are reporting sluggish sales for July as shoppers' worries about jobs escalate, raising concern about the health of the back-to-school shopping season.

As merchants report their sales figures Thursday, mall-based chains continue to be hit hardest as consumers focus on necessities. Among the disappointments are Stage Stores Inc. and teen retailer Wet Seal Inc. Stage Stores' same-store sales fell 11.9 percent and Wet Seal 12.1 percent.

Warehouse club operator Costco Wholesale Corp.'s results are slightly below analysts' estimates. Its same-store sales dropped 7 percent.

The sales figures are based on same-store sales or sales at stores opened at least a year. Same-store sales are considered a key indicator of a retailers' health.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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