The retail industry is entering the holiday shopping season, when many companies record up to 40 percent of their annual revenue. The retail industry, excluding restaurants, could lose at least $25 billion in sales this week, estimates Burt Flickinger III, managing director of retail consultancy Strategic Resource Group.

Even home improvement chains and grocers that will benefit from shoppers stocking up on emergency supplies before the hurricane and cleaning and repair items afterward could lose sales in the long run if overstretched consumers feel they must scale back.

"If you're spending $400 on a generator, that could hurt discretionary purchases," said Brian Sozzi, chief equities analyst at NBG Productions.

Flickinger now estimates that holiday sales in November and December will rise 2.1 percent over last year instead of the 3.2 percent he had originally predicted.

A better idea of how Hurricane Sandy is affecting the retail business will come Thursday, when some major retailers like Target Corp. and Macy's will report sales figures for October.

___

AP Business Writers Matthew Craft, Anne D'Innocenzio and Samantha Bomkamp in New York, Joshua Freed in Minneapolis and Tom Krisher and Dee-Ann Durbin in Detroit contributed to this report.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

If you liked this article you might like

Wall Street Overlooks Trump's North Korea Threats to Hit New Records

Best Buy Disappointment Sends Retailers Into a Spin

Stocks on Track for Records Even as Trump Goes After North Korea

Cramer: How to Avoid Being Amazon Roadkill

Why Singer Jason Derulo Is Ready for Some Monday Night Football