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Customers leave an Abercrombie & Fitch store at South Park mall in Charlotte, N.C., in this file photo from Nov. 25, 2011.
Customers leave an Abercrombie & Fitch store at South Park mall in Charlotte, N.C., in this file photo from Nov. 25, 2011.
(CHARLES PLATIAU/REUTERS)

FINANCIAL TIMES

Tough times for U.S. mall retailers

Lex is a premium daily commentary service from the Financial Times. It helps readers make better investment decisions by highlighting key emerging risks and opportunities.

There is trouble at the mall. Thursday morning, Abercrombie & Fitch reported a 10-per-cent drop in comparable sales. Next door at rival American Eagle Outfitters Inc. they fell 7 per cent. In the background, big anchor stores like J.C. Penney Co. Inc. and Sears Holdings Corp. continue to struggle mightily.