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You may not be smiling in the new year when analysts predict many stores will close because of the bad economy.
The store you went to for your last-minute shopping might not be around long.
Analysts believe that the pullback in consumer spending will lead to an unprecedented number of store closings and retailer bankruptcies in 2009. Weak returns from the Christmas season just won't be enough to sustain some debt-laden chains.
Shopping center development in the Chicago area is slowing dramatically and could come to almost a halt next year. A report by Mid-America Real Estate Corp. shows the region got 3.7 million square feet of new retail space this year, down from 8.3 million square feet in 2007. This year registered the lowest total of new space in Mid-America's survey since 1997.