7 of 7
BACKNEXT
Struggling for buyers' dollars
Last year: As the economy slid into recession, consumer spending slowed, crunched by reduced credit availability from credit-card companies and widespread employment concerns. For the first time in decades, Americans are saving instead of taking on more debt. But that newfound thrift led to a bleak holiday season for small retailers around the country, and a year of slow sales. Numerous small companies have already gone out of business, and consumer spending is still a top concern for those remaining, according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

This year: Retail analysts expect a rash of shutdowns in the coming 12 months. While many of those that go under will be large chains, the damage will ripple to the stores' suppliers. Fledgling businesses will also face a hard road: Recent data shows consumer confidence at an all-time low. Because the job market looks to stay grim for quite some time, consumers will continue to be cautious about their spending habits. -Emily Maltby

More galleries

LAST UPDATE: Jan 06 2009 | 6:06 PM ET
Sponsored by
More Galleries
San Francisco: The best city to make things From electric motorcycles to death shrouds, San Francisco's manufacturing sector is booming. More
6 designers shaking up fashion These designers are changing the way we dress, accessorize and shop, from custom made-to-fit dresses to smart jewelry that's actually stylish. More
8 must-have travel apps Whether you've got wanderlust or an airline grievance, here are some apps to pack onto your phone. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.