**FILE** This Nov. 22, 2008 file photo shows shoppers pushing their carts through the toy aisles at the Costco in Cranberry, Pa., Butler County. With holiday sales shaping up to be the lowest in years, possibly the worst since the industry began annual comparisons in 1969, retailers say they're taking consumers' demands for good deals seriously. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
NEW YORK (AP) - Retailers are reporting sales declines for August as shoppers continue to hold off on back-to-school purchases and continue to focus on necessities.
As merchants report their sales figures today, teen apparel stores reported weakness. Wet Seal Inc. and Hot Topic Inc. both said sales dropped. Labor Day falls a week later this year, so some back-to-school purchases are likely to come later.
Warehouse club operator Costco Wholesale Corp. says sales at stores open at least a year dipped 2 percent, but that was above analyst expectations. Food remains a best seller.
August is expected to be the 12th consecutive month of such declines.