CMBS transactions with exposure to corporate names involved in the recent wave of department store consolidation are in most cases not expected to incur meaningful losses, according to Fitch Ratings. However, analysts recommend investors keep an eye on exposure levels to securities including the specter of the so-called "dark anchor" - such as a closed Robinson's May store causing a drain of business for a small town or suburban mall's neighboring tenants and proving difficult to fill.

Federated Department Stores late last month announced it will close 68 May Co. and Macy's stores next year, a result of the company's merger this fall with May. Overall, the number of independent department store chains has been declining over the last 20 years, to about 20 from more than 60.

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