Chicago Tribune

After better-than-expected holiday season, a 'reckoning time' for retailers

Consumers have unwrapped their holiday gifts. Now, it's retailers' turn to see what the holiday season brought them.

Companies and their lenders are tallying sales, calculating returns and considering prospects for the year ahead. It's "the reckoning time," said Frank Layo, managing director at consulting firm Kurt Salmon, part of Accenture Strategy.

It didn't end well last year: The Limited, Wet Seal, Marbles Holdings, BCBG, H.H. Gregg, RadioShack and Gander Mountain all filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by the end of March. Retailers announced 6,955 store closings in 2017, outpacing closings at the height of the 2007-09 recession, according to Fung Global Retail & Technology.

In the shakeout, some retailers that were slow

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