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Neiman Marcus shuts down sale process

Gary Malerba/AP

Neiman Marcus, a luxury retailer owned by Ares Management and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, said that it is no longer exploring either a full or partial sale of the company. A strategic review had been launched three months ago, in large part to help Neiman Marcus deal with $4.8 billion debt load.

Key number: 4, which is the current streak of consecutive quarterly losses for Neiman Marcus.

Retail blues: There was a pretty widespread belief that Neiman Marcus and its serial suitor, Hudson's Bay Co., would work something out this time around. But Hudson's Bay is also struggling and has left Neiman Marcus just crossing its fingers that offering more exclusives and personalized options can turn the tide -- based on arguments that commoditization is what's killing many other physical retailers. If Neiman Marcus cannot rebound, however, it could be devastating to already-struggling shopping malls where it is an anchor tenant.