The crumbling economy has also taken its toll on one of the largest department store chains. Macy's announced Feb. 2 that it will cut 7,000 jobs, about 4 percent of its work force.
The company's cost-cutting measures include restructuring its retail divisions and reducing planned expenses. Macy's Inc. operates more than 840 department stores -- under Macy's and Bloomingdale's -- across the nation, with corporate offices located in New York and Cincinnati.
While belt-tightening consumers may embark on more do-it-yourself projects instead of hiring contractors, that hasn't stopped do-it-yourself mecca Home Depot from scaling back its operations. The home improvement retailer is closing its high-end EXPO stores, a move that will affect 7,000 employees, or 2 percent of the company's work force. In addition, Home Depot said it would also institute a salary freeze for company officers.
The grim shopping environment may have been the fatal blow to KB Toys. The toy retailer, with 275 stores in malls and nearly 200 more temporary and outlet stores, filed for bankruptcy protection. It was the second filing in four years for the company. As the toy store company goes out of business, 15,000 workers will lose their jobs.
Sectors ranging from shipping to pharmaceuticals to construction equipment are also feeling the pinch. A few recent examples:
FedEx plans to let go 900 jobs across 130 facilities. The company layoffs come after a decline in customer demand since December. Other cost-cutting measures include halting contribution to employees' retirement plans for at least a year.
Pfizer, which is buying rival pharmaceutical giant Wyeth for $68 billion, is planning to cut 8,000 jobs by the end of March, about 13 percent of its work force.
Construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar said it would cut 20,000 jobs -- nearly 20 percent of its work force -- after reporting that its profits had fallen 32 percent. The company said the job cuts were designed to help "deliver our 'trough' profit target" of $40 billion in sales and revenues.
With reports by ABC News' Sarah Netter, Scott Mayerowitz and Eleanor Hong.