Which Retailer is Bankruptcy Bound? - TheStreet

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- Retailers clearly appear to be on a path to recovery -- but there are bound to be a few more fatalities before the recessionary dust clears.

And as retail companies prepare to announce their fourth-quarter results -- which include the all-important holiday season -- several retailers have already warned that disappointment may lie ahead.

Last week,

Blockbuster

(BBI) - Get Report

announced that

holiday sales were worse than expected

, prompting the company to lower its outlook for the quarter. Blockbuster now expects a loss between $183 million and $193 million.

Similarly,

Borders

(BGP)

also reported

weak holiday sales

. The book retailer said same-store sales for the 11 weeks ended Jan. 11 tanked 14.6%.

Borders has been facing some tough times as competition grows among discounters like

Amazon

(AMZN) - Get Report

and

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

. As a result, Borders announced at the end of last year that it would shutter 182 Waldenbooks.

And while drugstores overall have managed to remain viable amid the recession,

Rite Aid

(RAD) - Get Report

has been struggling ever since it acquired Brooks & Eckerd in 2006.

Rite Aid posted a 1.8% drop in same-store sales in December, its 10th consecutive monthly decline. Still, investors are hoping the

appointment of a new CEO

last week will get the company back on track.

Zale

(ZLC)

, meanwhile, is facing issues of its own.

Top executives, including its CEO, chief stores officer and chief merchandising officer, all resigned earlier in the month

.

The move came on the heels of a 12% plunge in sales in December, as the jeweler was forced to cancel orders ahead of the holiday season.

Zale was also the center of a Securities & Exchange investigation into financial irregularities in 2009.

With all of these companies on the fritz in various ways, which of them -- Blockbuster, Borders, Rite Aid or Zale -- do you think would be most likely to file for bankruptcy in 2010?

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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