Heidi Hartmann, the president of the Institute for Women's Policy Research, says women in retail lost hundreds of thousands of jobs over the last year, and men gained more than 100,000 jobs.
Retraining generally isn't a top priority in the retail sector, analysts say. But Wal-Mart trains about a quarter-million of its employees a year in more advanced skills.
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Sears, once the monolith of American retail, says that there is "substantial doubt" that it will be able to keep its doors open. Company shares tumbled more than 12 percent Wednesday. Above, the department store's location in Brooklyn's Flatbush neighborhood today.