Bloomberg is reporting that up to 73,000 retail stores may close in 2009, with companies like Talbots and Sears leading the way. Several companies, like Circuit City, Sharper Image, and Steve & Barry’s have already gone under. Sales at stores open at least a year fell 2 percent in November and December, double the projected 1 percent decline. Particularly hard hit were women’s clothing, electronics, and jewelry, where consumer spending fell 20 percent. “You’ll see department stores, specialty stores, discount stores, grocery stores, drugstores, major chains either multi- regionally or nationally go out,” said the director of a retail-industry consulting firm.
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