Retailers suffering as Aussies keep debit cards in their wallets

Australians are holding back on using their credit and debit cards to purchase non-essential items, the latest figures from the retail sector are expected to show.

Earlier in the month, the department store Myer issued a warning to its shareholders, noting that profits could be down by as much as five per cent over the current economic year, thanks largely to the marked drop in sales seen in January.

Now, the Australian has reported that a number of other major retail firms are bracing themselves for far-from-ideal end-of-year results.

Indeed, it is anticipated that David Jones, Woolworths and Harvey Norman will all publish figures that serve as fresh evidence for the ongoing downturn in discretionary retail spending, with consumers opting to keep their debit cards firmly in their wallets for the time being.

On a more positive note, Westfarmers recently reported a 33 per cent increase in earnings for the six-month period ending June 2010.

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