Borders, Lowe's and Staples Make the Biggest Loser List

Although retail sales rose a slight .7 percent in August offering a glimmer of hope that we are in the latter stages of the recession, some retailers are still feeling deep recessionary pain. Despite a large portion of retailers racking up huge profits it is clear that others are finding gains to be as elusive as the search for the Holy Grail. Retail's biggest losers this month include Borders, Lowe's and Staples which have recently posted steep drops in profits.

Retailers still not able to adjust their cost structures to reductions in demand that are now at least a year old fall into the luxury, specialty, tween fashions and home improvement sectors. Here are 10 retailers that still haven't been able to significantly modify their balance sheets, although some are clearly being hampered by market forces and internal beyond the recession.

Ann Taylor: Woman's apparel chain lost $18 million in its second quarter, compared with a year-ago profit of $19.3 million. Sales fell 21 percent to $470.2 million, while same-store sales fell 22.5 percent, with a 38 percent drop at Ann Taylor and a 15.4 percent decline at LOFT.

American Eagle: The tween apparel chain reported that profits plunged 52 percent, due to lower sales and increased markdowns and promotional costs. Sales in its latest quarter dipped 5 percent to $657.6 million from $688.8 million, while same-store sales declined 10 percent.

Borders: The bookseller reported sales fell 17.7 percent to $616.8 million mostly on declines at its namesake bookstores and Waldenbooks specialty retail stores. Same-store sales for its Borders superstores dropped 17.9 percent, while Waldenbooks specialty retail stores reported a 10.8 percent same-store sales decline.

Coldwater Creek: The specialty apparel chain announced that revenue fell 7 percent to $225.2 million from $241.4 million last year. The company generated a loss of $4.9 million in its first quarter, compared with positive earnings of $3.1 million in the year-ago period.

DSW: The shoe retailer reported that profit fell 31 percent in its second quarter. Sales rose a slight 3 percent to $369.5 million from $357.2 million, while same-store sales declined 2.9 percent.

Lowe's: The home improvement retailer reported that profits fell 19 percent in its second quarter, citing poor weather and cautious consumer spending. Revenue fell 5 percent to $13.84 billion from $14.51 billion reported last year, while same-store sales fell 9.5 percent.

Neiman Marcus: The luxury retailers posted a fourth quarter loss of $168.5 million, compared with a $35.6 million loss in the year-ago period. Sales fell to $768 million, from $1.03 billion, while same-store sales were down 23.4 percent.

Pacific Sunwear: Teen specialty chain reported a loss of $14.2 million in its second quarter, compared with earnings of $3.7 million in the same period last year. Sales fell 22 percent to $242.8 million from $312.7 million reported in the year-ago period, while same-store sales fell 24 percent.

Staples: The office supplies chain reported that profit dropped 39 percent in its second quarter. Second quarter sales rose 9 percent to $5.53 billion helped by the acquisition of Dutch office-supply company Corporate Express NV, while same-store sales fell 5 percent.

Wet Seal: The woman's apparel chain announced that profits plummeted 69 percent in its second quarter on declines in same-store sales. Sales fell 9 percent to $136.4 million from $149.1 million. Same-store sales fell 12 percent for Wet Seal and 4 percent for Arden B.

For related content, see:

10 Big Retail Losers Include Guess, Tiffany and Office Depot

Retail's 12 Biggest Losers

16 Retail Bankruptcies in 2009 

Vulnerable Retailers Stumble

Market Gyrations Force 10 More Store Closings

Store Closings from 15 More Retailers 
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