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PRSM Weekly
Nov. 15, 2008  
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Retail Sales Fall by Record Amount in October
from The Associated Press
Retail sales plunged by the largest amount on record in October as the financial crisis and the slumping economy caused consumers to sharply cut back on their spending. The Commerce Department says retail sales fell by 2.8 percent last month, surpassing the old mark of a 2.65 percent drop in November 2001 in the wake of the terrorist attacks that year. More

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Wal-Mart Earnings Up, but Forecast Cut
from CNN Money
Wal-Mart Stores, the world's largest retailer, reported third-quarter profit this week that topped estimates but said a stronger dollar would squeeze profit for the rest of its year. Wal-Mart shares were down about 46 cents to $52.16 on the New York Stock Exchange. One retail analyst said Wal-Mart news was "mostly good." More

Retail's Pain is Just Beginning
from Forbes
The pain isn't going away after Christmas. Retailers already bracing for what's expected to be the worst holiday shopping season in 17 years can also expect a rough go of things in 2009 as the bumpy economy bottoms out before launching a recovery. Apparel sellers at specialty chains and mass market department stores figure to feel the most pain, according to analysts, as the economy contracts and unemployment rises. More

On Main Street, Buckling Up for a Bumpy Ride
from The New York Times
All eyes may be on the crumbling titans of Wall Street, but rarely has the future been so uncertain for millions of current and would-be owners of small businesses. The unfolding financial crisis and the election of Barack Obama as president are remaking the landscape of small business a vast, sprawling area of economic activity that has been an engine of job creation and a bulwark of employment. More

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Battered Retailers Turning to Sentimental Sales Pitches
from The Washington Post
Retailers, who just reported their worst October in decades, fear disaster. The battle for customers and survival is on, and stores have little margin for error. With Wal-Mart dominating the race to rock-bottom prices, those who can't compete must get creative. "Believe," says Macy's. More

Green Plans in Blueprints of Retailers
from The New York Times
In new Wal-Mart stores, the baseboards and moldings are made of plastic left over from diaper manufacturing. Chipotle, the burrito chain, has installed an energy-producing wind turbine outside a new store in the Chicago suburbs. And a Florida chain called Pizza Fusion reuses the draft from its ovens to heat water. Across the country, a race is under way among stores and fast-food restaurants to build environmentally friendly outlets. More

At the Supermarket Checkout, Frugality Trumps Brand Loyalty
from The Wall Street Journal
Many Americans are changing their everyday purchases and abandoning brand loyalty, prompted by the persistent financial pressure of rising food, gasoline and electricity prices. Over the past 24 months, consumer prices have risen 7.8 percent according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. More

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Retail Theft Costs Reach $104 Billion Annually
from Dayton Business Journal
Thieves are costing retailers and consumers $104 billion each year, or about $230 per household, according to the second annual Global Retail Theft Barometer. The cost of retail crime, which was calculated on the basis of crimes by customers, employees and suppliers/vendors, plus the costs of loss prevention, were $112.8 billion in 2008, compared with $108.1 billion last year. More

Taking the Gross Out of the Grocery Cart
from The Wall Street Journal
Cleansing-wipe dispensers have been appearing next to shopping carts at grocery stores for some years now. But a host of other products have emerged to appease germophobes who shop. These new offerings include protective covers that minimize infants' contact with the seat, full-cart liners and portable, snap-on handles carried by consumers. Grocers hope the efforts boost perception of their stores. More

FedEx, IBM and Office Depot Report Green Progress
There has been a steady stream of corporate social responsibility reports published during the last week. Three heavyweights IBM, Office Depot and FedEx recently released reports touting new environmental goals and performance. More

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