It probably doesn't surprise many, but December same-store sales results thatretailers are reporting this morning aren't very uplifting so far.A quick scan of the damage looks like this: Kohl's was down 11.4%,J. C. Penney dropped 7.5%, Limited Brands fell 8% and Zale Corp.dipped 9%.In the case of J.C. Penney, a spokesman blames theresults on a "challenging consumer environment" and a calendarshift, and other retailers with similar results are saying much ofthe same thing.On a brighter note, Pier 1 Imports, whichhas had a rough go of it for quite a while now but is gettingcloserto profitability as of late, actually reported a 1.3% same-storesales gain. And Costco, which nearly always has strong resultsevery month, posted a 7% gain.Look for more detailed coverage onthe retailpage later this afternoon, after the International Council of ShoppingCenters puts out its monthly sales report.But in the meantime,how do you see the retail sales climate shaping up so far thisyear?

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