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Retail Roundup: NRF Calls on Congress, Payless Goes Green, and More

NRF seeks congressional action -- The National Retail Federation approached Congress on Oct. 15 calling for a lame-duck session directly after November's elections to address the nation's gloomy economy. NRF officials are seeking tax relief for consumers, and the organization's CEO, Tracy Mullin, explained that "extraordinary measures are needed to address this profound emergency that has affected every American." He also noted, "Increased consumer spending would create demand throughout all sectors of the nation's economy." [Source: NRF]

Payless goes green -- Payless ShoeSource announced plans for a new line of shoes that will make smaller footprints -- on the environment, that is. The chain will soon begin selling a line of shoes crafted from organic cotton and linen, hemp, recycled rubber, and biodegradable glue. While Payless is hardly the first shoe retailer to include an environmentally friendly line, the widespread chain, composed of 4,600 stores, is notable because of its far reach. [Source:]

Americans still willing to shell out $250 for jeans -- While consumers have shied away from malls over the last month, purchasing fewer articles of clothing than they did last year, some retail analysts feel items like premium jeans may weather the rough economic season. High-end denim jeans may be more protected in the slowdown as consumers often believe they're a good investment, said Monica Tang, a retail strategist with Kurt Salmon Associates, adding that pricey jeans have been a "bright spot" for this year's retail industry. [Source: Heard on the Runway]

eBay reports first decline -- eBay saw its first-ever decline in the dollar value of sales on the site in its fiscal third quarter, which ended Sept. 30. Gross merchandise volume in the quarter hit $14.28 billion, down 1 percent from 2007's same quarter total. The decrease didn't come without warning: Growth in the site's central auction business has been slowing for some time. [Source:]

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