Mostly because U.S. households together lost $13 trillion in assets in 2008 and have regained little, this will a bad holiday season for most retailers, according to The Economist. Stores catering to the rich will do well, but that's about it. "Yet there is a silver lining this Thanksgiving even for struggling middle-market shops," the magazine notes. "Most retailers are better prepared financially to withstand a disappointing holiday season than they were two or three years ago."

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