Concerns arose last week that retailers could be in for an even tougher year than expected after a leaked email from a Wal-Mart Stores official described sales in early February as “a total disaster.” The email, sent by Jerry Murray, Wal-Mart’s vice president of finance and logistics, cited higher payroll taxes and slower federal tax returns for contributing to “the worst start to a month I have seen in my 7 years with the company,” according to ...

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