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In Like a Lamb

March sales compared to last year left much to be desired with just 35 percent of independent gift store owners reporting annual gains. The majority (55 percent) reported sales declines. Most concernedly, 23 percent noted those declines were in the area of 10 percent or more. The remaining 10 percent managed to maintain sales year-over-year.

Not surprisingly these underwhelming results have some retailers on edge – pinching their pennies and worried about what the future holds. When it comes to purchasing plans for the remainder of the year, 42 percent of boutique owners are planning to reign things in and spend less than they did last year.

The worrying sales results have not, however, put a damper on summer travel plans. Exactly 50 percent of retailers indicate they plan to attend a show this season, slightly up from last year’s 49 percent.

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