This holiday shopping season is likely to be the most difficult for retailers since the 1991 recession, according to two retail groups. Retail sales in November and December will rise just 1.5%, predicts one group, while the other is more optimistic for a 2.5% to 3% increase. E-commerce ventures might be better positioned to weather the difficult climate than bricks-and-mortar stores, according to a report by Shop.org and Forrester Research.

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