Consumers preferred government-sponsored incentives over retailers' continued reliance on big markdowns, helping to make July same-store-sales another washout.
Retailers weren't only competing with the continued problems of low consumer confidence and employment levels, but also had the government offering big incentives for auto and home purchases.
"That doesn't leave much left over for other purchases, especially big ones like large screen TV's," said Chris Donnelly, partner in Accenture's retail practice. The poor July showing is also building a case for extreme caution going into Christmas. Retailers are likely ordering less, which may not mean discounts will have to be as big this holiday season. But any uptick in demand won't be met with supply.
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