Tis the Season to Be Wary

Retailers fear that the recession may mean a blue Christmas

Despite gyrations of the U.S. economy, retailers have traditionally counted on, and in most years enjoyed, enough business at Christmas to make being an American storekeeper worthwhile. But merchants this year are concerned that the 1981 Christmas selling season may turn into one of the worst ever. Recession, unemployment and high interest rates could deal a Scrooge-like blow to the holiday spirit of U.S. consumers.

Stores anxiously waited last week to see the first indications of Christmas buying when the season officially started the day...

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