Uncharted Business Territories

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 800.com, to shut their doors last year, and

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