By Claire Reilly

SYDNEY, NSW: Retailers have been hit with horror falls on the Australian share market as news of weakening consumer confidence and sluggish spending habits hit home.

Following yesterday’s announcement by David Jones CEO Paul Zahra that the company was expecting profits to drop by as much as 20 per cent in the 2012 financial year, DJs stock closed 18.16 per cent down from their previous closing price.

And while there’s no other store quite like David Jones, department store competitor Myer was not immune to the drop, with a closing price that was 6.42 per cent lower than the previous day’s.

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Neither company experienced the famous “dead cat bounce” today, with both DJs and Myer continuing to lose value on the ASX.

Harvey Norman felt the stockwaves too, experiencing a 4.56 per cent decline in their closing price yesterday, while JB Hi-Fi dropped by 5.32 per cent.

The vertiginous lines on yesterday’s price charts coincided with the release of the Westpac – Melbourne Institute Survey of Consumer Sentiment. The Index of Consumer Sentiment has fallen by 8.3 per cent, dropping from June’s figure of 101.2 down to 92.8.