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Which Stores Might Close Next?

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Forbes takes some guesses on who might be next in the store closing parade.
For example, Saks, the 110-year-old luxury department store, is in serious danger. The retailer has taken a beating over the last six months, starting with its 70%-off discounts before Thanksgiving, which were meant to stimulate sales but instead muffled them. Then in mid-January the company laid off 1,100 corporate workers. It's the consensus among analysts that Saks will see sales decrease by over 26% in the first quarter of 2009 to $636.57 million.

"I don't know if Saks will get through the year," says Howard Davidowitz, chairman of New York-headquartered Davidowitz & Associates, a national retail consultant and investment banking firm. "We know that the [overall] retail business is horrendous, but if you're in the discretionary or luxury space, you're dead in the water."

Tiffany, the maker of understated jewelry tucked in a pretty blue box, is also suffering. Sales are expected to shrink in the first quarter of this year by 15.3% to $565.96 million. It's not surprising. New York-based Fortunoff -- one of Tiffany's competitors -- filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Feb. 5. Dallas' low-end jeweler Zale Corp. (nyse: ZLC - news - people) plans to close 115 stores. On March 4 another jeweler, the Azusa, Calif.-based Robbins Brothers, filed for Chapter 11.

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Elaine Misonzhnik

Senior associate editor Elaine Misonzhnik has been writing for National Real Estate Investor since June 2006 and has covered commercial real estate for more than 12 years. She first became...
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