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Smart tactics for tough times


Coach, Gap Inc. and J. Crew Apparel are doing it. So are Sears Holdings, Kohl’s, Target and The Home Depot. Ditto for J. C. Penney and Liz Claiborne. Even a surging Wal-Mart Stores has gotten on board. Indeed, there is hardly a retail chain in existence that, confronted with the pullback in consumer spending and the financial crisis, has not initiated some type of cost-cutting initiative in recent months.

The strategies vary. The consumer press has concentrated on store closures, job eliminations, decreased capital spending, fewer store openings and inventory reductions. But the fact is there are many other ways retailers can cut expenses and tighten their operations amid the economic slowdown.

To that end,Chain Store Age is devoting its entire issue this month to dollar-saving strategies in our main areas of coverage: operations, technology, store development, facilities management and real estate. Importantly, many of these suggestions are targeted not only at cutting waste, but also at putting retailers in the best possible position to thrive and expand when the economy turns around.

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