Retailers believing the hard times may be over may want to think again. While industry pundits claim 2000 may be the worst holiday shopping season in six years, many retailers expect the slump to continue through mid-2001. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The word at the annual NRF Convention in New York was the Federal Reserve's interest rate cuts will eventually spark consumer spending. "We started last year on an incredible high. We ended the year on a low, with the stock market on a roller coaster ride, and with the Internet just another way of doing business," says Tracy Mullin, president and CEO of the NRF.