Back-to-School Shopping Boosts September Retail Sales

Retailers are reporting surprisingly solid sales gains for September, boosted by back-to-school shopping in the first half of the month.

The results give hope for a positive holiday shopping season, although Americans are still dealing with an uncertain economy and high unemployment.

An array of stores including Victoria's Secret and Bath and Body Works parent Limited Brands Inc., warehouse club Costco Wholesale Corp. and sportwear company Zumiez Inc. are reporting strong revenue increases.

A notable exception was Target Corp., which saw sales rise but missed estimates.

The figures are being compared with September 2009. They're based on revenue at stores open at least a year, an important measure for retailers.

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