Retailers hope: Less chaos more profit today - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Retailers hope: Less chaos more profit today

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP)- The big specials may start at 5 a.m. but some of the stores offering them are already open in hopes of luring holiday shoppers and avoiding potentially dangerous crushes of customers. 

After last year's meltdown, there are cases of nerves among the retailers as they offer deep discounts on everything from toys to TVs. Optimism rose in early fall as shoppers came to life, but stores have seen a sales slowdown since right after Halloween. 

A number of stores, including Walmart and many Old Navy locations, opened on Thanksgiving. Toys R Us opened most of its stores at midnight Friday. 

The retail industry is heading into the Christmas selling period armed with lean inventories and more practical goods on their shelves. Still, with the economy a question mark, many analysts expect total holiday sales to be about even from a year ago.

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