Pin the tail on the margins

That is what prognosticators will now try doing, as holiday sales have plummeted:

Consumers who picked up bargains in the days after Thanksgiving may feel disinclined to return to shops this year, adding pressure on retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Cincinnati-based Macy’s Inc. to discount more as the traditional gift-giving of Christmas approaches.

Last week retailers saw the biggest drops in roughly nine months, which is right around the time housing and finance stocks took their first broad-based whacking.

UPDATE: More on margins from an online retailer.

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