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And Kohl's said its longtime CEO would retire next year and be succeeded by a former Starbucks executive who had no prior fashion or apparel experience before joining the store chain in 2013. The supermarket chain ended the year with strong digital sales, as it boosted the number of its stores that can fill online orders.Retailers entered the holiday season in better shape than recent years by paring inventory, allowing them to hold the line on discounts.It was a year that many retailers would like to forget, with a record number of store closings and bankruptcy filings, as the shift to online shopping sped up. rocked the grocery world by buying Whole Foods Market.

Retailers that turned to deal-making in hopes of alleviating their problems were thwarted as investors soured on the industry.

With the National Retail Federation expecting sales in November and December to grow as much as 4% from 2016, the industry is on pace for its best annual finish since 2014.

It seems we go through this same exercise every quarter whenever Sears Holdings releases its earnings: The stock shoots higher, and then the market sobers up, causing the retailer's shares to retreat, eventually trading even lower.

Although Sears is pointing to its new specialty stores that focus on appliances, mattresses, and car services as the means by which it will turn itself around, Running naked Yet it's perhaps a wise move for Sears to minimize the role apparel plays on its business.

is poised to surpass Macy's this year as the largest clothing retailer, and Wal-Mart sells some billion worth of apparel every year. With the industry reeling and most retailers closing stores, reducing their footprint, and firing workers to remain viable, Sears continuing to have apparel represent some 30% of its business is out of whack with trends.

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