What's in stores for 2010

Retail sales may be ticking up -- the National Retail Federation expects sales to increase 2.5% this year compared to the 2.5% decline forecast for last year -- but that doesn't mean it's business as usual in 2010.

Count on retailers to get creative to woo shoppers. Special events, one-day sales and an increased use of social media to connect and communicate with customers are all expected to dominate this year.

Retailers are enjoying the results of improved inventory controls and less deep discounting. They are fine tuning technology to track purchases and better assess what customers want, and getting better at differentiating merchandise and eliminating the sameness that makes consumers yawn instead of snapping up new fashions.