Heavy discounting and promotion may have confounded forecasts of sharply reduced retail-store traffic this holiday shopping season, but profits still look quite disappointing, and some names may vanish from the landscape early in the new year.
Kristine Koerber of JMP Securities prefers to focus on the survivors.
"Those are companies that have strong brands, strong management teams, and, I think most importantly, strong balance sheets," she told CNBC.
So who's she talking about?
"Someone like that would be a Tiffany," she said. "The management team has survived numerous economic downturns, and they should come out taking market share, and they will prevail in the long run."
Koerber also likes Abercrombie & Fitch.
"They also have a strong brand, and a clean balance sheet, so they should be around the next couple of years," she said.