Minnesota's Cost Plus World Market stores are the latest casualty in the souring market for retailers.

The Oakland, Calif.-based retailer said Friday that it will close all six of the state's stores as part of a cost-cutting move that will shutter 26 of its 296 outlets, and cut 18 percent of workers at its headquarters and distribution center.

The news came as Cost Plus Inc. posted a 4.3 drop in December same-store sales and a 6.6 decline in the crucial November-December holiday shopping season.

World Market stores, which sell imported casual home furnishings as well as gourmet foods and wines, are in Bloomington, Maple Grove, Minnetonka, Roseville, Woodbury and Rochester.

World Market faced competition from Pier 1 Imports, the now bankrupt Linens 'N Things and Bed, Bath and Beyond.

"There are a lot of redundant goods and similar concepts that cross over," said Dick Grones, founder of Cambridge Commercial Realty of Edina, which specializes in the retail market. "In some ways, the thinning of the herd is beneficial, because it consolidates those consumers into one store. ... But in some shopping centers where two of these 'junior boxes' have closed, it's hard to fathom how long it's going to take to lease those up."