4. Home furnishings and home decor
Furniture stores and home decor stores, with the exception of discount home stores, took a beating with the economic downturn. Consumers passed up that new couch and other home furnishings as part of an overall shutting of the spending spigots.
The sector continues to be hard hit because of the direction of housing -- in essence, consumers are not building or buying new houses (take a look down any Main Street block and count how many homes are for sale). What consumers are doing is refurbishing their old stuff and spiffing up rooms with a fresh coat of paint or decorations.
Still have you ever bought a couch online? It's kind of hard to do, simply because it's the type of item to which consumers are emotionally attached. Whether it's do-it-yourself furniture from stores such as Ikea or more traditional furnishing stores, people will always want to touch, sit and lay on the stuff before they make a purchase.
"Having that visual is very important," Grannis says.