Retailers should focus on financial security and cash this year, J.C. Penney Co. Inc. Chief Executive Myron “Mike” Ullman told Reuters last week.
Penney will be conservative in its business this year, he said. Other retailers at last week’s National Retail Federation annual meeting told reporters much the same thing.
Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren said he was willing to sacrifice sales for the sake of getting the inventory at Macy’s stores in line with decreased demand.
Outgoing Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott said he expects an extraordinarily challenging first half this year.
Ullman said he doesn’t see a return to expansion until 2010.
Argh! He’s probably right, so fasten your seat belts, trim you inventory, brush off your best customer service practices and weather the downturn as best you can. Your customers are suffering, too, so think about what you can offer them: free gift with purchase, cookies and coffee, more value?