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Bon-Ton Stores operates 141 department stores across the country but is suffering from the same problems as Ann Taylor and A.C. Moore -- slumping same-store sales, writes Tony Sagami, owner and founder of Harvest Advisors. For the month of September, Bon-Ton reported a 7.8% drop in September same-store sales. That’s an awfully big drop in demand.

The company said:

Consumer spending was impacted by several issues during September: increased gas prices, hurricanes Katrina and Rita and predictions of higher heating costs.

The list of retailers reporting a drop in same-store sales goes on. Jo-Ann Stores, New York & Co., Stein Mart, and Talbots all admitted to suffering from the same sales slowdown.

I wonder how many of retailers complaining about high energy prices it will take before the Wall Street knuckleheads start taking down their Q4 expectations?

I can’t tell you when that will happen, but when it does, you won’t want to be holding any retail stocks.

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