Growing jobless rate hits local retailers

Posted: Updated:

Merchants in Orange County say the rising unemployment rate, which hit 8.5 percent in June, is hurting their sales because people shop less.

The latest national numbers show June retail sales are down about 5 percent compared to last June. In response to the gloomy statistics, store owners are resorting to summer sales and deep discounts to attract customers.

"The economic situations have changed, and you're looking for things on sale," says Frank Vitarelli, of Florida Village.

Managers at Modell's in Central Valley say their sales figures have been steady thanks to discounts.

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