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Aug 4, 2011 8:49 AM by Kate Richards

Heat brings shoppers to malls

Retailers are reporting solid sales gains for July as deep discounts and sweltering heat drove shoppers to air conditioned malls. But with growing concerns about the economy, analysts worry shoppers heading back to malls for back-to-school shopping will hold tight to some of the habits of the Great Recession - focusing on necessities and waiting for big discounts.

A wide range of merchants that reported their July sales results on Thursday delivered results that beat Wall Street estimates, including Limited Brands Inc., Costco Wholesale Corp. and Target Corp.

The results are based on revenue at stores opened at least a year and are considered a key indicator of a retailer's health.

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