In this Sept. 18, 2018, photo Janice Jucker carries a tray of bread inside her Three Brothers Bakery in Houston. Retailers struggle in Houston a year after Hurricane Harvey flooded the city. Jucker continues to rebuild the business at Three Brothers Bakery. She has three stores, one of which was flooded; her sales are down 25 percent from before the storm. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Small retailers upbeat about 4Q but tariffs make some uneasy

September 26, 2018 - 9:18 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Many small and independent retailers are more upbeat about the fourth quarter and holiday season than in recent years.

That's because customers are more confident and spending freely.

Shoppers are especially interested in some merchandise that stores struggled to sell during the recession and its aftermath, including clothes and home furnishings.

Retail sales tallied by the Commerce Department for the first eight months of 2018 were up 5.7 percent from a year earlier.

While booming online sales have siphoned business away from many traditional retailers, small stores with unique merchandise or services are enjoying a sales surge that allows them to stock up.

Still, there are pockets of uncertainty including retailers in places recovering from natural disasters and those worried about the impact of the Trump administration's import tariffs.

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