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All 2014 U.S. Retail Store Closings Roundup

All 2014 U.S. Retail Industry Store Closings Complete Roundup

Radio Shack and Staples are the latest U.S. retail chains to announce a significant number of store closings planned for the 2014 calendar year. Get a complete list of all 2014 store closings in this U.S. Retail Store Closings Roundup...

More About U.S. Retail Industry Store Closings:
Retail Industry Spotlight10

Restaurant Technology and the Digital Customer Experience - Panera, Subway, Olive Garden, and Largest U.S. Restaurant Chains Moving to the Leading Edge (PNRA)

Sunday April 13, 2014

What's new and what's news in the restaurant segment of the U.S. retail industry can be generally summed up with one word - technology. Olive Garden (DRI) is introducing online ordering this month. Subway has been testing a smartphone ordering and payment system in 2,000 California restaurants. The CEO of Panera Bread has been showing up in the mass media talking about plans for "Panera 2.0." There's no doubt that the world's largest restaurant chains are working hard to move their businesses up to the leading edge of technology. The question is whether all that digital effort is also moving the world's largest restaurant chains in the direction of the world's best dining and customer experiences.

From tabletop ordering tablets to mobile payments, to real-time digital customer feedback, some of the largest U.S. based restaurant chains like McDonald's, Wendy's, Baskin-Robbins and Buffalo Wild Wings seem to be in a digital race to see who can become the shiniest, the buzziest, and the gadgetiest the fastest. Much like the largest U.S. retail chains that are participating in a similar digital competition, it would be well advised for restaurant chain leaders to consider some fundamental truths about retail technology as they lead their organizations down a fast-moving digital track.

- Technology for technology's sake is of little benefit to anyone.

- The customer experience is not completely defined by their technological experience.

- After the "wow" factor of the technology (quickly) wears off, there will be more customer expectations that need to be met and exceeded.

This month Panera Bread's CEO Ron Shaich has been aggressively and publicly outlining the company's plans for integrating technology into the Panera restaurant experience. Those plans include online and mobile ordering, a "rapid pick-up" system, in-restaurant electronic table locators for food delivery, customized digital ordering, and the ability to save previous orders and payment.

The driving motivation behind Panera's planned technological advancements is enhancing the customer experience in an omni-channel world. In an interview with the Associated Press, Shaich is quoted as saying, "As a CEO, I'm paid to figure out where the world is going, not where it is. Today's consumer wants it their way. They want it customized. We have to have the system for that."

I think Shaich is completely on-point in the assessment that the today's and tomorrow's consumers want what they want when they want it in the exact way that they want and will gravitate towards companies that empower them in that quest. Based on my recent experiences with Panera Bread, though, I think there might be something a little off-point in the understanding about what it is that Panera consumers actually want. Here's a brief account of my two experiences in the same Panera Bread restaurant location in the past two weeks.

About two weeks ago, I went to Panera for lunch and I ordered a You Pick Two combination with a salad, sandwich and apple. My salad had an entire lettuce core in it and no dressing, my sandwich had no condiments, my plate had no knife to use to spread added condiments or cut large things like lettuce cores, and my very small apple had four very large bruises.

I reported the challenges I had with my food order on the customer survey that I was directed to on the bottom of my receipt. I didn't report the lack of toilet paper in the women's restroom, or the number of dining room tables piled with dirty dishes because I figured that was probably a result of more business than anticipated and not enough staff to handle it, which management teams are generally already aware of.

When asked on the customer survey "Would you like someone to contact you about this survey?" I checked "Yes" as I always do because I'm always curious about what that followup will be. Usually my curiosity doesn't get satisfied because nobody - from Panera or any other retail organization - follows up.

Much to my surprise two days later my phone rang and the person who greeted me when I answered was "Lenora," the general manager of the Panera location I had dined in just two days earlier. She told me she was calling because I had requested a follow-up to my customer survey. Her call was so unexpected that I hadn't even thought about what I would say if someone actually did contact me.

My uncertainty didn't matter, because Lenora obviously had a clear intention before she dialed my number. She summarized what she had read in my survey, which assured me that she had actually taken the time to read it. She apologized profusely for what she considered to be an atypical and unacceptable Panera experience, and she assured me that there would be actions taken as a result of my feedback.

Lenora was genuine, she was enthusiastic, she took ownership, she made no excuses and she was obviously committed to excellence. It was not only model service recovery, it was sincere service recovery. It was exactly the kind of response that I - or any disappointed customer - would want to receive. Lenora was a model Panera company representative and deserves kudos for shifting a service failure into a success.

While Lenora was doing all that, it gave me time to compose myself and remember a couple of questions that my latest Panera experience had caused me to wonder about. I had noticed the lack of knives at other Panera locations as well, and wondered if knives were no longer a part of the Panera dining experience. And I also wanted to know how it is that lettuce cores and bruised apples made their way onto my plate, considering that there was both a food preparer and a food deliverer between placing my order at the cash register and the placement of that order on my table.

Again, Lenora made no excuses and reiterated that it was all below standards. She then told me that she had been in a meeting with some members of the Panera management team just that week where they had been talking about standards and consistency. One of the takeaways from that meeting was plans to photograph each dish, so that there would be no mistake in any Panera employees' mind about what the Panera "ideal" was for every dish, every offering, and every plate. It's an idea that is brilliant in its simplicity, and one that all U.S. fast casual restaurants should steal. (Sorry, Lenora!)

I was on the phone with Lenora for about 15 minutes and it was a completely lovely conversation with a completely professional woman who cleaned up all the negative residue from my previous experience at her Panera location. At the end of the conversation, Lenora offered to "make it up to me" with several different options. The option that I chose was to return to the same Panera, and tell the cashier to look for my name in "Lenora's book ." Lenora assured me that I would receive a better experience the next time, and the commitment in her voice gave me no reason to doubt that would be true.

At the time I didn't really think that I would return to that particular Panera, and if I did, I didn't think I would mention Lenora's name. The point of filling out the survey and having the conversation wasn't about getting a freebie for me, although I'm sure Lenora deals with plenty of people who have that as their goal. But I did decide to return and I did decide to mention Lenora and her "book" because I was curious again about what would happen after that.

When I mentioned it, the Panera cashier did know about Lenora's "book" and seemed to know the correct process to be followed when a customer mentioned "the book." She immediately retrieved a manager who accompanied her to the cash register with "book" in hand. He located my name and apologized for my previous experience, and invited me to enjoy a complimentary lunch. Like Lenora, he was sincere and professional, and made a completely positive impression.

Again I ordered the You Pick Two with a salad, sandwich, and apple. The last thing the adorably sweet, smiley cashier said as I left the register was, "We'll make sure to do a lot better with your order THIS time!"

So, THIS time when my food was delivered to my table, there was no whole lettuce core in the salad and an ample amount of dressing. So, in that way, both Lenora's prediction and the cashier's promise came true.

Beyond that, unfortunately there was no difference THIS time. There were no condiments on the sandwich and no knife on the plate for spreading added condiments or for cutting the chunks in my salad bowl that were larger than bite size. The apple was brown and bruised on all sides, again causing me to wonder about the quality standards of all the food on my plate. Again I had to ask for a replacement apple, and received one that was much more edible.

Restaurant Technology Digital Customer Experience Panera Subway Olive Garden Largest US Restaurant Chains Moving Leading Edge

Eight times during my Panera experience THIS time I observed customers removing dirty dishes off a table and wiping their tabletops with the paper napkins that they retrieved from the beverage station. Countless number of times I watched food-delivering employees walk past dirty tables without doing anything about them.

Again, there was no toilet paper in the restrooms. The photo above is the view underneath my table as I sat down, and it was the same view under every table in the dining room as far as the eye could see.

I'm sure before committing $42 million to technology enhancements, Ron Shaich and the Panera leadership team did ample research which revealed opportunities to improve the Panera ordering process, and that they clearly defined the elevated Panera ordering process they wanted to create. I'm not so sure that the same team has complete clarity about the opportunities to elevate the Panera customer experience after the whiz-bang-wow of the new techno ordering system is complete.

Just now, more than an hour after I arrived at this Panera, the adorable]y, sweet, smiling cashier who had taken my order walked past me in her street clothes, obviously done with her shift and ready to enjoy the rest of her Sunday. As she headed for the door she saw me and said, "Good-bye, Barbara. We hope to see you again!"

Not only did she remember my name after an hour, she cared enough to proactively use it when she was off-duty and out of eyesight of any managers she would want to impress. Because of this one brief moment that delightfully surprised me, I am now certain that I will return to Panera another day to give them another chance. Any company who makes a hiring decision that good can't be all bad.

It's really not that my past two experiences at Panera have been "bad," it's just that they have had some notable ups and downs, the sum total of which has created somewhat of a roller coaster experience. For most people, roller coasters and dining don't mix very well. And for most people, given a choice between a technologically-enhanced ordering experience and a consistently excellent dining experience, they would be willing to forego the gadgets in order to divert some of the technology budget towards training and higher food quality standards.

Last year Panera experienced a slowdown in growth and the company has identified the ordering process as the reason that Panera customers have defected to other restaurants. As I type this, the ninth group of customers is clearing someone else's dirty dishes away so that they have somewhere to sit. Another customer is gathering her own food order from the kitchen pass-through counter because she noticed it had been sitting there unattended for a few minutes. Another customer just returned to her table after hunting down soup spoons that weren't included on her family's plates. None of them look particularly happy. And I don't think any amount of digital ordering technology would put a smile on any of their faces right now. I think there might be other reasons beyond the ordering process that have motivated Panera customers to defect.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Shaich said it himself... "Everybody is talking about technology in the restaurant industry. It's the new thing. But technology doesn't matter if it doesn't change the guest experience."

Well said, but unfortunately not completely well done... THIS time...

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GE Capital Is Branded Credit Card Manager of Choice for Largest U.S. Retail Chains with Branded Credit Card and Customer Loyalty Programs (WMT, AEO, DDS)

Tuesday April 8, 2014

Related: Roundup of Branded Retail Credit Card Programs >>

After renewing some long-term agreements with some of the largest U.S. retail chains, GE Capital seems to be the financial institution of choice for private label and co-branded credit cards for the U.S. retail industry in 2014. American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) is the latest retail chain to renew its agreement with GE Capital for management of its branded credit card program. This follows closely behind the biggest of the big retail credit card contract, which was the renewal of the agreement between GE Capital and the Sam's Club and Walmart chains. It's been a pretty good month for GE Capital so far.

But just to prove that there's no room for laurel resting in U.S. financial services, GE Capital also received the bad news this month that Dillard's (DDS) will be handing its credit card servicing business to Wells Fargo later this year.

Prior to this banking change, Dillard's has been offering its private label credit card, which can be used for Dillard's purchases only, and a co-branded Dillard's American Express credit card. Both of those cards are an integral part of the Dillard's customer loyalty "reward program."

In other words, you can only be considered a "loyal" and "rewardabe" Dillard's customer if you are also a credit-worthy credit card user. That's an unfortunate message to send to Dillard's cash-paying customers, but apparently nobody in the Dillard's finance department has figured out how to make an equally accessible rewards program financially feasible without factoring credit card fees into the equation.

Considering the risks associated with credit card security these days, it wouldn't be that surprising if the largest U.S. retail chains just decided to do away with its branded credit card programs altogether. This will be particularly understandable for retailers that do business in California, where legislation is pending that would hold retailers solely responsible for security breaches, and limit the type of "personalization data" that can be collected and stored by retailing companies.

Seemingly it's a commendable thing for California legislators to be concerned about the security of its citizens. The parties being protected by this legislation, however, are the banks. And don't they already have big departments filled with legal people whose primary focus is protecting the interests of the company that signs their paycheck? Perhaps this is an area where the negotiation of contract terms can be sufficiently handled without the need for government regulation.

Despite the threat of the Russian underworld and Ukranian teenage hacking, retail credit cards still have enough financial benefits to be worth the risk to U.S. retailers. In fact, the retail credit card business is healthy, with record low chargeoffs and month-over-month improvements in yield and excess reported by Fitch Ratings.

Another recent positive trend in retail credit cards is the connection being made between digital coupon offers and retail credit/debit card purchases. Coupons.com is facilitating the connection between Visa, MasterCard or American Express and retail companies like Vitamin World, Tilly's, DressBarn, Perfumania, the Body Shop and all of the GAP brands - Piperlime, Athleta, Banana Republic, Old Navy - that are willing to issue and redeem digital coupons.

So consumers who link their Visa, Mastercard or American Express card to their account on Coupons.com can browse through available "card linked" offers on Coupons.com, and "add" them to a credit card. When that "linked" credit card is used to make a coupon-eligible purchase, the amount of the coupon automatically gets deducted from the shopper's credit card, and a text or email communication from Coupons.com is sent to confirm the digital coupon redemption.

This is a win-win innovation except for the double security exposure inherent when both a retailer and a website have data stored that could be stolen by some crafty Russian hacker ring, or an industrious teenager in the Ukraine. According to Verizon Enterprise Solutions, only 11% of merchants that are accepting credit cards have sufficient security standards for credit card transactions. That shouldn't be good enough odds for any retail credit card user, no matter what kind of bribery perks are associated with those credit cards.

It also shouldn't be good enough odds for any U.S. retail chain, no matter how much credit card sales add to the bottom line. It's not just about putting customers at risk. It's about doing the right thing and doing the things you do the right way.

Until branded retail credit card programs can substantially prove that they are committed to doing credit cards the right way, then it's about consumers opting out of the game altogether for their own protection. That will motivate retailers to change faster than any amount of government legislation ever could.

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As Retail and Restaurant Birthday Freebies and Loyalty Club Programs Expand, Marketing Budgets Are Wasted Without Specially Defined Customer Experiences

Monday March 31, 2014

Click here of you just want to access the Complete Index of Retail and Restaurant Birthday Bonuses and Freebies >>

More than 2.5 billion American consumers belong to loyalty clubs in all industries, according to private label discount network Access Development, and 70% of those loyalty club members say they feel a loyalty club helps define their relationship with a company. This is either the cause or the result of the expansion of retail and restaurant loyalty, discount, rewards, and freebie marketing programs in the past few years. But as the number of retail and restaurant loyalty and birthday club options continue to grow, the possibility that marketing budgets are being wasted on me-too customer loyalty marketing programs expands as well. Beyond the Loyalty and Birthday Club offers is the "special" in-store experience for loyalty and birthday club members, which most retailers aren't really using to their best advantage.

I was brainstorming with a client recently about expanding e-mail and social media marketing activities in order to gain exposure with a new audience. Of course there are an infinite number of online and mobile marketing strategies that can be used to attract attention and boost website traffic, but before choosing the best strategies, there was one important question that I felt needed to be answered. "Once you've got them there, what are you going to do with them?"

And that's the question that was also top of mind for me with each birthday freebie that I collected this month. Now that they have me here, what are they going to do with me? Unfortunately, the answer to that question, more often than not, was "Not much."

So far Baskin-Robbins wins the birthday freebie experience contest because of one simple thing, which is not the mini marshmallows in my birthday scoop of rocky road. What Baskin-Robbins gave me was a birthday greeting which included my first name, pulled from the printed coupon I had to present to get my free birthday scoop. That is such a common sense customer service fundamental that you would expect every retailer to do it as a standard part of giving away free stuff in an attempt to make an emotional customer connection.

But as I often say, just because something makes sense, doesn't mean it's common. (I have no idea if this is an original thought, so feel free to attribute it to another thought leader if I am stealing a quote.)

Imagine my birthday surprise when the sales associate handling my birthday bonus transaction didn't even think to say "Happy Birthday" at one of my customer service favorites - Starbucks. Customer disappointment is even greater when expectations are higher. Reportedly Starbucks adds 80,000 new members to its Starbucks rewards program every week. It's mind-boggling to believe that a company with the service commitment of Starbucks would be handing out millions of birthday freebies every year without taking the time to fashion, communicate, train, and execute a "birthday experience." Talked about missing the moment!

For any retail leaders who are reading this and thinking, "It's free, lady. So what else do you expect?" you might want to consider discontinuing any present or future freebie or loyalty marketing programs and plans immediately. If meeting customer expectations seems like an unreasonable request, then exceeding customer expectations is way out of your reach. You really don't want to do any kind of marketing programs to attract customers - either repeat or new - until you have that all sorted out in your mind and in the execution of your experience.

In actuality, customers have very little to complain about when they are being given something for free. But the lack of customer complaints is a very ineffective measurement of customer satisfaction. Customers rarely complain about small disappointments, but the sum total of a lot of small disappointments leads to one big customer defection. Loyalty programs should be viewed as the opportunity to create the kind of customer delight that leads to fanatic customer loyalty. But that kind of loyalty doesn't happen by itself and it takes more than an annual birthday bribe to win it.

That said, I've probably gotten myself deleted from a few birthday databases. March is the easiest time of year for me to review the trends in U.S. retail industry loyalty club programs since it is the month that my e-mail box is flooded with birthday greetings, discounts, and freebies from my retail and restaurant BFFs. This year, it was quite easy to add a big batch of birthday bonuses to the master list of retail industry birthday club marketing offers. The newest retailers that want to contribute to your birthday celebration this year are:

- Abercrombie & Fitch
- Ace Hardware
- American Eagle
- Auntie Anne's
- Aveda
- Barnes & Noble
- Boston Market
- Carraba's Italian Grill
- Cinnabon
- Del Taco
- Denny's
- Dickey's Barbecue Pit
- Disney
- Dunkin' Donuts
- Famous Dave's
- Famous Footwear
- Fuddrucker's
- Goodwill
- IHOP
- Jason's Deli
- Kmart
- Lone Star Steakhouse
- Noodles & Company
- Orange Julius
- Pick Up Stix
- Qdoba
- Schlotzsky's
- Sephora
- Sonic
- Stir Crazy
- Taco John's
- Uno Pizzeria & Grill
- Wienerschnitzel

That's in addition to the dozens of birthday clubs and loyalty club birthday freebies that were already on the birthday promotion roundup list. Click here for the Complete Index of Retail Birthday Clubs and registration links >>

Clearly the restaurant sector of the retail industry is most actively using the birthday club marketing strategy. What I also noticed this year while reviewing my birthday club options is that fewer retailers wanted me to help me celebrate with freebies, and more of them thought my "special day" would be happier with a free-with-purchase offer. Also I noticed that many of the birthday "month" offers last year had been compressed into birthday "week" offers this year. These trends again indicate that an improvement in the overall "birthday experience" could help retailers with their ROI on birthday bonus marketing programs.

By the time my birthday month rolls around next year, I predict that new birthday freebie options will still be easy to find, that more of them will be discounts and conditional-purchase offers than completely free freebies, and that a majority of birthday coupons will be mobile accessible so that I don't have to fire up the printer that I haven't needed to use since this time last year.

Already there are more birthday freebie offers that any one consumer would want, or be able to redeem each year. It's easy to predict that as technology drives more personalized marketing for birthday marketing programs, birthday freebie offers may eventually become as competitive as Black Friday doorbusters.

No matter how they evolve and how they are executed, there are two reasons why loyalty clubs in general and birthday clubs in particular are are fundamentally a good idea. From a consumer's perspective, it's always happy to get surprises and freebies, particularly on your birthday. And from a retailer's perspective, it's never a bad idea to do something that gives a customer a reason to smile.

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Q1 Store Closings Roundup - Behind Biggest 2014 Store Closing Numbers Is a Significant Retail Evolution and Lack of Creative Leadership

Sunday March 30, 2014

At the end of the first quarter of calendar year 2014, the Q1 roundup of U.S. retail store closings can be described as significant. It's not the total number of planned store closings that have been announced in 2014 that is so significant, especially compared to the downsizing avalanche of the Great Recession. Rather in 2014, it is the story behind the store closing numbers that reveal the fast-moving evolution of the U.S. retail industry and which of the largest U.S. retail chains lack the creative leadership to keep pace.

One of the newest additions to the 2014 U.S. Retail Store Closings list is GameStop, which announced this week that it plans on closing 2% of its stores this year. That's just 128 of GameStop's chain of 6,400 stores, and it's hardly worth talking about. Considering the formidable threat from Wal-Mart's new video game trade-in offering, it's a positive sign that GameStop leaders seem confident that 98% of its chain can remain competitive. So the 128 store closings that put GameStop high on the store closings list, could actually be viewed as a show of GameStop strength.

That's the opposite of the story behind the Dots women's clothing store chain which began the process of liquidating its entire chain of 360 stores at the beginning of the month. When news that the Dots Chapter 11 was going to result in a complete liquidation of the chain, it's likely the reaction from many U.S. retail industry professionals and enthusiasts was "What's Dots?" It's even more likely that customers were unable to answer the same question long before the Dots going out of business sales began.

Reportedly, the Dots market niche was affordable fashions in size 0-24 for women age 25 to 35. "Affordable" meant private label Dots jeans for $10, dresses for $7, blouses for $5, and boots for $12. On paper, this is a viable price-sensitive offering to a clearly defined demographic. That's probably why retailers like Wal-Mart are going after it too. And that's why it probably seemed like a good idea to recruit a Wal-Mart apparel senior manager to be the CEO of Dots back in 2012.

When former Wal-Mart senior VP Lisa Rhodes took over, the Dots retail chain had 420 stores and plans to build to a 1,000 store chain in five years. How is it that in less than two years, Dots expansion plans transformed into Dots liquidation sales? Only Rhodes knows the whole story on that, but there's no justification for the "economy" excuse, and their target market was still buying apparel, just not at Dots. In general we can probably glean the answer by looking at a few other retail chains that have taken a prominent position on the 2014 Store Closings list.

As the first quarter of the calendar year closes, what, if anything, do these retail chains with more than 100 store closings planned have in common?

- Abercrombie & Fitch
- Aeropostale
- Barnes & Noble
- Blockbuster
- Brown Shoes / Famous Footwear
- Children's Place
- Dots
- GameStop
- Jones Group
- Radio Shack
- Sbarro
- Sears
- Staples

Besides the self-inflicted wounds of controversy caused by Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries, none of these retail chains have done anything "wrong." They just aren't on the right side of today's retail rightness and they aren't keeping up with the fast-changing retail climate that is largely being defined and rapidly redefined by customer empowerment.

Loss of clear identity. Lack of retail relevance. Stuck in the past. Too big to be nimble. Little engagement in social media spaces. Not enough presence where target markets are looking. No magnetizing customer experience. Not much unique or extraordinary in product offerings. Not much worth talking about. Nothing for fanatically loyal customer advocates to latch onto. These are the troubling threads that connect today's most troubled retail chains.

When retailers cite "competition" as the reason for their retailing challenges, what they're really saying is that they're buried under one or more of today's common retail challenges, and their competitors have found a way to rise above them. In a world of unprecedented consumer access and empowerment, retailers can't be slow about digging themselves out or else they get buried alive. In the most general terms, some version of this story is undoubtedly what happened to Dots.

Last week Toys 'R Us was expected to announce store closings after it reported a $1 billion FY 2013 loss and revealed that 500 jobs worldwide had been cut. But instead, CEO Antonio Urcelay declared that 98% of the Toys 'R Us stores are profitable, so no store closings are planned for 2014. The math of 98% profitability that leads to a $1 billion loss is a little bit hard to figure. But we're willing to give Urcelay and his finance department the benefit of the doubt, and here's why.

When Urcelay announced the job cuts last week he didn't make excuses. He pointed no fingers at the economy, the competition, or the changing demographics in the U.S. Surprisingly, Urcelay publicly admitted the many ways that Toys 'R Us had created its own billion-dollar problems one sloppy retailing failure at a time. In stores, Toys 'R Us customer are complaining about a slow checkout process, disorganized stores, and too many inventory out of stocks. Online, ToysRUs.com customers are complaining about outdated technology and unfavorable shipping terms.

That's a lot of fundamental Retailing 101, and Urcelay was a big enough leader to admit it. How refreshing and how rare! It's no coincidence that such a forthright display of radical responsibility came from a CEO who has only been at the helm of the company for about six months.

One of Albert Einstein's most well-known philosophies is "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it." And what that means for the retail chains that are topping the 2014 Store Closings list so far is that it's going to be difficult or impossible to find the way out of the downsizing ditch following behind the same person who led the company there in the first place.

To boil it all down, there are really only two reasons why some of the largest and oldest retail chains are closing stores and closing down in 2014 and both of those reasons are leadership-related. Either there is a lack of understanding about what "retailing" means to today's consumers, or there's a lack of vision about what retailing can become in the future. Even more simply, the root cause behind the most dramatic retail downsizings is a failure in leadership imagination.

To predict how the 2014 Store Closings list will grow over the next three quarters of 2014, there's no need to look any further than the boardroom. Admitting that you have a problem is the first step towards meaningful improvement. Admitting that you ARE the problem is the essential second step. How many leaders in the companies at the top of the 2014 Store Closings list have demonstrated a willingness to do that?

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