5. American Apparel

American Apparel ( APP), which was the biggest retail loser of 2010, lost 68% in 2011.

Last month, Tom Casey resigned as acting president just one year after he was hired to turn around the company. There's been no indication if American Apparel is searching for a replacement.

This is one of several management changes of 2011. Chief Business Development Officer Marty Staff resigned from the company in October and John Luttrell was appointed chief financial officer earlier in the year.

American Apparel has closed more than 30 stores over the past year and has reported positive same-store sales during the fourth quarter. It is also expanding internationally, striking deals to expand distribution of its apparel at department stores in Europe.

Same-store sales increased 10% in November from a 7% increase in retail sales and a 32% increase in online sales.

The company also narrowed its loss in the third quarter to $7.2 million or 7 cents per share from $9.5 million or 13 cents in the year-ago period. Sales grew 5% to $140.9 million.

"We are pleased with the momentum that is building in our core businesses," said CEO Dov Charney, in a statement. "Our retail channels, both in store and online, are seeing sales growth indicating a revitalized connection to our customer. We are excited about this trend, we feel it is long-lasting, and it is one we can meaningfully build upon. Other positive signs include improved efficiency at our manufacturing facilities, stabilization of world cotton prices and improved profitability at our average retail store."

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