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Back-to-School starts slow for retailers

New York — With consumers holding on tight to their cash and buying closer to the vest, same-store sales slipped by 0.2 percent during the second week of August, giving back some of the gains rung up the week before when sales climbed by 0.8 percent over month-before levels, according to the Redbook Retail Sales Average.

Stung by a slow start to the big Back-to-School season, and falling well behind plan, same-store sales for the two weeks month-to-date fell by 1.5 percent from July levels, far steeper than a forecast decline of 0.4 percent.

Stacked up against the same time frame last year, sales for the first two weeks of August edged up by just 0.3 percent, well behind a forecast increase of 1.5 percent.

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