These stores are struggling to SURVIVE

Declining foot traffic and slumping profit margins are forcing several brick-and-mortar retailers to shift into survival mode. Consumers are doing more of their shopping online, lured by the convenience and great deals offered by Amazon and other competitors. As a result, the stores are tweaking their strategies, hoping to rake in big sales in the process.

For one, Wal-Mart has been forking over cash to increase sales online, buying discounter Jet.com and building out its distribution system. It's also invested in remodeling hundreds of stores, reducing inventories, and pushing down prices.

Target will forego $1 billion in profits by lowering prices and pushing digital sales with lower margins. It will also spend billions to renovate roughly 600 stores and open 100 smaller ones over the next few years.

As part of its ongoing effort to get smaller to combat losses, Sears will be closing another 100 Sears and Kmart stores in 2017. Having already sold off its Craftsman tools brand, it is now weighing options for its Kenmore brand and is aiming to revive sales by focusing on members of a loyalty shopping program.

After closing 66 stores last quarter, Macy's is contemplating closing another 34 as it looks to focus on the best-performing locations. It is also exploring options for its real estate, including selling or redeveloping certain stores as condos or office towers.

Moreover, like Macy's, JC Penney plans to shutter weaker stores by June in order to focus its investment on stronger locations. It has been adding more products for home (e.g., appliances to a wide range of stores.

Kohl's, for its part, has been shrinking its footprint by remodeling some stores into smaller locations or relocating into smaller stores. It also plans to add more casual and athletic apparel to its stores.

It's a shame that so many of the stores we've shopped at for many years are struggling to this degree. It goes to show you that sites like Amazon are giving them a run for their money. They have no choice but to adapt to consumers' changing tastes and retool their strategies accordingly. Otherwise, they don't stand a chance of surviving. I just can't fathom perennial heavyweights like Macy's going under!

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