Traditional retailers have tough holiday

NEW YORK — Traditional, brick-and-mortar department stores had a hard time inducing customers to come out during the pre-holiday shopping rush, resorting to deep discounts that could cut into profit margins. The problem isn’t necessarily the economy: consumer spending has increased, but not at the traditional stores, prompting industry leaders to worry that the trend won’t reverse any time soon. Middle class consumers, faced with flat wages and rising payroll taxes, have been spending less on clothing as a proportion of their overall expenditures, says a Reuters report.