Retailers Stock 2010 with Less, but More Exclusive, Stuff

If stores this year seem picked over with only the fancier stuff remaining, don't be fooled into thinking you just missed a crazy sale. It's no accident. The retail industry expects growth and profits in 2010 won't come as much from opening new stores as from merchandising the existing ones to the hilt -- with less, but more exclusive merchandise. So prepare to go from store to store and look at leaner shelves stocked with more private labels. And retailers will be watching carefully what you're buying.