Retailers, having just struggled through one of the worst holiday shopping seasons in recent memory, are now trying to share the pain with their landlords.

Many stores are pushing to negotiate lower rents, warning that they mightn't be able to make it unless their costs are cut. Those in stronger positions are finding that the market's turmoil has provided them clout to haggle for lower lease rates.

'It's the best of times [because] landlords are trying to hold on to people like us,' Gap Inc. Chief Executive Glenn Murphy told investors on a recent conference call.

Wall Street Journal