retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports that that D-I-Y retailer Lowe's is going to eliminate some 3,000 jobs, or about one percent of its workforce, and will shift many employees from "back-of-house responsibilities and activities to customer-facing ones," and will deploy them in a way that positions them "to help answer shoppers’ questions about products or home-improvement projects."

The moves come as Lowe's deals with "weaker-than-expected store traffic" and looks for ways to "adapt to shifting shopping habits ... Lowe’s is still trying to navigate a retail market where consumers increasingly turn to the internet rather than physical stores to buy materials and research projects. It is using video cameras and other technology to help it analyze store traffic and adjust its staffing to match customer needs."
KC's View:
It just seems to me that any retailer who needs to reallocate employees to work in customer-facing positions is almost too late to the party. If I had to identify a single problem that many troubled bricks-and-mortar retailers share it would be that they've put more emphasis on logistics and operations, and not sales and marketing. They always should've had engaged, visible people on the sales floor who who help and interact with shoppers.

It could be too late to get religion on this one.