NEW YORK, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Early holiday sales figures indicate tens of thousands of U.S. retailers will close stores in 2009, industry observers said.
The International Council of Shopping Centers said 73,000 retail stores could close from January through June 2009 after projecting 148,000 store closings this year, USA Today reported Tuesday.
Some have already taken steps to shutter businesses. KB Toys, Ann Taylor and Sears said have announced store closings. Talbots and Circuit City have also announced closures, the newspaper said.
Following a dismal holiday season, The Parent Co., announced Sunday that it and nine of its subsidiaries, including eToys.com, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware.
"This action is an unfortunate but necessary … in the light of the ongoing challenging retail environment," Chief Executive Officer Michael Wagner said in a statement.
SpendingPulse reported retail sales were down 2 percent to 4 percent from November through Christmas Eve.
Online retail also declined, dropping 2 percent compared with a year ago, ComScore reported.
"This is a bad, considering that online holiday sales, year-over-year, have been up about 20 percent every year, Don Davis, editor of Internet Retailer said.