More warning signs for department store chains

Retail warnings are starting to pour in as more companies report on comparable-store sales.

Cato and Buckle both saw their December comps fall, due in part to tough weather, while L Brands had to push hard on promotional levers to stay in positive territory.

The common theme from the holiday season has been that mall-based retailers used promotions and e-commerce channels to try to make up for very slow store traffic. While Macy's is ahead of the game with a vibrant online fulfillment system and cost-cutting plan in place, other department store operators (KSS, SHLD, JCP, DDS, JWN) could be at risk.

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