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Retail Roundup: CEOs Predict 'Worst Yet to Come,' Shoppers Turn to Web, and More

Internet retailers discuss dreary business outlook at conference-- When a group of CEOs representing some of the Web's largest retailers gathered recently at the NetLeaders Forum in Denver, they agreed sagging sales will continue as the "worst is yet to come." Liberty Media Senior VP Michael Zeisser said there has never been a more urgent time to focus sharply on the consumer. "Retailers should be making an extra effort to give a shopper better information to help her make sure an item really meets or doesn't meet her specific needs," he said. [Source:internetretailer]

Holiday shoppers plan to seek bargains on the Web -- While predictions for holiday sales remain dire, Internet retailers who outfit their sites with discounts and special deals may find the silver lining of a gray economy, according to a recent study. Roughly 85 percent of online shoppers use Web tools to find sales and deals, according to research from Harris Interactive. Meanwhile, 37 percent of consumers plan to do their holiday shopping online, and 32 percent of Web shoppers turn to the Internet specifically looking for bargains. [Source: internetretailer]
Claiborne and Rodriguez end deal -- Fashion retailers Liz Claiborne and Narciso Rodriguez ended their partnership on Oct. 8, just a year and a half after first teaming up. Rodriguez will regain full ownership of his namesake business, and Claiborne will cease investing in the brand. The split can be attributed to differences over how to best grow the business organically, according to a Claiborne statement. [Source: SmallCapInvestor.com]

Retailers face bigger obstacles than first thought -- As September's sales figures roll in, many retailers across the nation are finding the results more dismal than they expected. Dillard's sales slid 12 percent, while luxury department store Neiman Marcus took a bigger hit with 15.8 percent decrease in comparable sales. Lower-priced chains, such as Kohl's, often saw smaller drops; sales slipped 5.5 percent at the mid-tier chain. [Source: MarketWatch and FinancialTimes.com.]

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