Sign of the times from Williams-Sonoma

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We’ve been hearing that the recent financial turmoil was only going to make what was already going to be a tough fall for retailers even tougher. In one of the first pieces of evidence that this is in fact true, Williams-Sonoma lowered its revenue and earnings guidance today for the third and fourth quarters and full year because weakening sales dropped even further in October.  

 “Over the past six weeks our sales trends have weakened dramatically, reflecting a significantly higher level of consumer concern over the events that have taken place in the global financial markets as well as the increasing likelihood of a prolonged recession,” said Howard Lester, chairman and CEO of Williams-Sonoma, in a statement. The decline in demand affected all of Williams-Sonoma’s channels and brands, with the decline in comparable store sales accelerating from negative 14% in August to negative 20.1% in September to negative 26.6% so far in October.

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