Costco, Target and Wal-Mart Are Dominant U.S. Department Stores
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- From 1896 to 1930, there were more than 1,800 makers of passenger motor vehicles in the United States.
Now it is down to "The Big Three" of Chrysler, Ford
The same factors could narrow down department stores so that Wal-Mart
There is certainly no shortage of retailers in the U.S., but some famous names look like they may not survive. J.C. Penney
By contrast, sales growth has increased for Wal-Mart, Costco, and Target on a quarterly basis and for the past half decade.
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What makes the future of retailers such as J.C. Penney and Sears even more precarious is their debt, which must be serviced with cash generated by declining sales.
The debt-to-equity ratio for Bon-Ton Stores is more than 18. That means that it required more than $18 of borrowing to produce every dollar of shareholder equity. J.C. Penney has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.5. For Sears Holdings, it is 0.9. Dillard's has a more modest debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41. By contrast, the debt-to-equity ratio for Costco is 0.46.
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