Many U.S. store owners say retail sales softened in May

06/5/2009 | NYTimes.com

U.S. consumers focused their spending on food and bargain-priced merchandise last month, leading to reports of declining same-store sales from many retailers. The monthly downturn was pretty much what analysts expected. "There's general softness across the board, as consumers continue to face rising unemployment, falling home values and rising gas prices," said Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics, a retail consulting firm.

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