Business

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Retailers Reach Out to Foreign Shoppers

February 11, 2008 10:24 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
As retailers try to offset sagging domestic sales, smaller stores take advantage of the weak dollar to sell their products online to customers abroad.

30-Second Summary

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January retail sales sank to an all-time low as recession-wary consumers cutback their spending. Sales at major stores rose by a mere 0.5 percent over last year, the worst January showing since record-keeping began in 1969.

Following the disappointing results, some chains have announced they will cut jobs and close stores.

Others hope to tap the spending potential of foreign shoppers, many of whom make frequent trips to the United States to take advantage of the weak dollar.

Small U.S. retailers are exploiting the dollar's weakness by using the Internet to sell to customers abroad.

Online sales are a less expensive way to establish a presence abroad than building stores outside the country. But there are distinct challenges associated with this type of expansion, The Wall Street Journal writes. Taxes, customs duties and shipping costs are just some of them.

Headline Links: ‘Going Online to Lure Foreign Shoppers’

Background: Retail industry reports dismal sales

Analysis: It isn't all gloom for American retailing

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