For the retailers that have been knocking on death's door, this holiday shopping season has taken on an added sense of urgency.
Teen retailer Aéropostale, for example, is operating under threat of having its shares delisted from the New York Stock Exchange — the result of deteriorating sales that ate away at its market capitalization. Shares recently traded below 65 cents.
Sears, the department store that retail investors love to ridicule, entered the holiday season having reported only one period of positive comparable sales in more than five years.
And American Apparel, which filed Chapter 11 in October, is desperately trying to reconfigure its business under new leadership, in a last-ditch effort to get customers back into its stores.