December Retail Sales Mixed, Nimble Chains Do Better

Several major U.S. retailers beat expectations of modest sales increases in December as shoppers wrapped up holiday buying, but overall results were mixed and only stores that were nimble enough thrived in an uncertain economy.

Costco Wholesale Corp, Nordstrom Inc, TJX Cos Inc and Ross Stores Inc were among the winners of the month, while such chains as Target Corp and Family Dollar Stores Inc felt the pinch as cautious consumers focused purchases on food and other basics.

Across 17 retailers including discounters, department stores and apparel chains, December sales at stores open

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