Monday, December 23, 2002 Holiday season looks more grim for merchants

The holiday season is looking more grim for retailers, as merchants such as J.C. Penney and Federated Department Stores reported Monday that even with heavy discounting, the late sales rush they were hoping for failed to materialize.

With the critical final weekend before Christmas less robust than expected, merchants are under even more pressure to rope in last-minute shoppers before Christmas and bargain-hunters afterward to salvage the season. Last year, post-Christmas buyers helped boost sales results.

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