retail news in context, analysis with attitude

USA Today reports this morning that despite having posted holiday sales numbers that were "on the high end of muted expectations," both Macy's and JC Penney plan to "head into 2015 with a focus on smaller operations and fewer employees."

Perpetually troubled Penney is said to be closing 39 underperforming stores and laying off some 2,250 employees, while Macy's plans a restructuring that will close 14 stores and lay off more than 2,000 employees.
KC's View:
I'm particularly interested in a quote in the story from consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow, author of "Decoding the New Consumer Mind." Yarrow tells USA Today that "retail is in a massive transformation period. Consumers have lost their enthusiasm for trolling through massive stores hunting for a bargain. They can do that online. The only big department stores that will remain relevant to consumers are those that incorporate tricks and treats into the shopping mix — like product offerings you can't find online, special demonstration or sampling, cushy or fun relaxation areas."

I think this is something that every bricks-and-mortar retailer needs to consider.