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Retailers Hope For Stable Holiday Trade

German retailers are heading into the Christmas shopping season with modest expectations this year. After suffering poor sales in recent months, German shops are hoping for turnover of around €8 billion ($9.4 billion) this holiday season, the German Retailers Association (HDE) said on Wednesday. "Retailers are undertaking all efforts to use the Christmas trade to halt the sinking sales of the previous 10 months," HDE spokesman Hubertus Pellengahr told dpa. Christmas sales have continued to decline in recent years as the Germany economy has stagnated. Sales in 2002 totaled €8.2 billion ($9.7 billion), a year earlier retailers pulled in €10.2 billion ($12.2 billion) and in 1999 sales were €13.4 billion ($15.9 billion).