U.S. retailers face a wave of store closings, bankruptcies and takeovers after poor sales during the winter holiday season.

Bloomberg financial news service reported Monday that clothing retailers Ann Taylor and Talbots are among the chains planning to close underperforming stores.  The report quotes a chairman of a retail consulting firm Davidowitz & Associates as saying that retailers will close about 12,000 stores in 2009.

Spending Pulse, an organization collecting consumer-spending data from MasterCard Advisors says consumers spent about 20 percent less on electronics, women's clothes and jewelry in November and December in comparison with the same period last year.  It says total retail sales declined up to eight percent during this holiday season.

A number of retailers have filed for bankruptcy protection after their sales dwindled following the global credit crunch.

Meanwhile, the online retailer Amazon.com has boasted the best holiday season ever.

Business news reports say consumer were buying fewer gift cards this holiday season for fear that companies going into bankruptcy would not honor them.