Retailers Post Steep Sales Declines in November

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NEW YORK – Retailers are reporting steep sales declines for November as a surge of shopping after Thanksgiving that was fueled by deep discounts wasn't enough to save a dreary month.

As merchants report their November sales figures Thursday, it's clear that shoppers are still slashing their spending as they worry about layoffs and their shrinking retirement funds. Costco Wholesale Corp., usually a strong performer, reported a bigger-than expected drops in same-store sales. Other retailers that saw declines in same-store sales are Bon-Ton Stores Inc., Limited Brands Inc. and Pacific Sunwear of California Inc.

Same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, are considered a key indicator of a retailer's health.