Many of America's best-known retailers, including Walmart, Home Depot and JCPenney, will be stepping into the earnings spotlight this week. Their reports come on the heels of disappointing January retail sales numbers from the Commerce Department.
With the prospects for economic recovery iffy at best and consumer spending still sluggish, retailers are closing their weakest stores in order to protect profits.
The retail sector will likely be weak in the next few years, as excessive consumption and over-expansion face the reality of tighter credit and weak employment. But Saks will likely be one outstanding exception.