January 6, 1995 in Nation/World

Retailers Post Mixed Holiday Season Sales

From Staff And Wire Reports

The final verdict on 1994 Christmas shopping: Retailers of electronics, home items and jewelry prospered, but for many apparel stores it was a season to forget.

Many women’s clothing merchants that managed to pull in sales were forced to take steep price markdowns to get the business, which could signal lower fourthquarter profits.

“The trend the sales showed in December pretty much reflected the year to date - strong gains of sales for hardlines, continued weakness in demand for soft lines,” said Janet Mangano, an analyst with Burnham Securities Inc.

Hard-line merchandise includes electronics, appliances and other items for the home, while soft-line goods include apparel.

Sears, Roebuck and Co., which reported strong sales of hard lines, was one of the strongest performers last month. But apparel companies like Limited Inc. and Charming Shoppes Inc., which suffered flagging sales all year, again posted disappointing results in December.

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