School selling season looks bad for retailers

The poor August numbers from the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey were sort of a "macro warning" that retail sales may be tough in the next few months. That means that the critical "back to school" season may not go well for stores that sell items bought for primary school and collage students. New analysis from The New York Timesand research date from ShopperTrak indicate that store traffic could be down by as much as 10%.

The news is devastating for retailers, and may be particularly bad for clothing stores with products aimed at the youth market like Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF) and operations like CVS (NYSE:CVS) which have sections of their stores that sell school supplies.