With about a month to go before the crucial holiday shopping rush begins, the domestic retail landscape is looking a bit precarious. According to the Department of Commerce, U.S. retail sales fell by 0.3 percent to $442.7 billion in September -- the first decline since January. Clothing retailers were among the hardest hit, with a 1.2 percent drop from August.
It's not just U.S. clothing retailers who are having a tough time. Mulberry just issued a warning to stockholders that profits for the fiscal year would ring in "significantly" below expectations, and Burberry said it's facing a difficult retail environment at the moment. H&M's sales growth contracted from 19 percent in August to 8 percent in September.
Retailers are already taking action ahead of the holiday season. Macy's announced that it is opening its stores at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day to capture deal-hunting Black Friday shoppers a day early. And while we watch and see if consumer demand bounces back for the all-important retail season, maybe we can help circulate the economy... by shopping some sales.