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Retailers report modest Sept. sales gains

NEW YORK — Several retailers reported modest sales gains for September as shoppers worried about a partial government shutdown and the economy. The results increase concerns about how shoppers will spend during the crucial holiday season.

Revenue at stores open at least a year rose 2.7 percent in September, according to a preliminary tally of nine retailers by the International Council of Shopping Centers. That was a slower pace than the 3.5 percent increase in August.

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L Brands, the parent of Victoria’s Secret, and Costco Wholesale Corp. were among the chains whose results missed Wall Street estimates, while Stein Mart Inc. beat expectations. Only a few retail chains report monthly sales figures, and the list doesn’t include Walmart Stores Inc., Macy’s Inc., and many other large chains. But it offers some clues into consumer spending.

L Brands said revenue at stores opened at least a year rose just 1 percent in September. Costco’s revenue rose 3 percent.

In September, warmer-than-usual weather hurt sales of fall clothes, as did economic concerns. And worries about the situation in Washington compound the challenges.

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