Holiday shopping season: A disappointment so far

Thursday, December 19, 2013 | 5:48 p.m. CST

NEW YORK — Sparse crowds at malls and "50 percent off" signs at The Gap and other stores offer clues as to how this holiday season is shaping up so far: It's the most discount-driven one since the U.S. was in a deep recession. It's also the most disappointing for stores.