Retail CEOs interviewed by SN were mostly optimistic on their outlooks for 2014, buoyed by a focus on productivity improvements and new efforts around differentiation. Most are not counting on meaningful gains from the nation’s slow-but-steady economic growth, however. Lower-income consumers are being hit by cutbacks in benefits like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as well as by new costs related to the Affordable Care Act, retailers said. “I think with all the ...

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