Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin

Economic Woes Push Retailers Into Uncharted Business Territories By Laura Spinale Whether expanding into foreign climes, ferreting out new markets domestically or buffing up or scaling back operations, a plethora of North American consumer electronics retailers plotted new business courses last year. The Top 50 CE retailers listed in this year's registry rang up a whopping $109.79 billion in sales during 2002, a 7.29 percent increase over the $102.33 billion earned in 2001. But those sales didn't come easy. Count a lackluster economy as one hurdle. Shrinking sales and profits forced once-powerful retailers such as Ames, and e-tailers including, to shut their doors last year, and

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