The year marked more of the same challenges experienced in prior years, but this time the pressure got ramped up a notch.
. Companies in trouble sold off their weak and underperforming properties. The economy and consumer confidence became a drag on spending. Shoppers watched their spending and traded down during the first half of the year.
The two biggest stories of the year -- Fleming's downfall and the Ahold scandal -- sent a pall over the entire industry as retailers and w