Retail stores change strategy to adjust to consumers Retail stores across the U.S. suffered massive sales declines during the recession as consumer spending contracted and inventory surpluses hurt their bottom lines. Now, stores are employing a new strategy - decreasing in size and adapting more quickly to inventory shifts - as the economy picks up.

This change in retail strategy is fueled by a shift in consumer preference towards a less expansive shopping experience and a desire by companies to cut costs. The smaller stores help with a company's bottom line as increased efficiency in supply chain management, decreased rents, and cost reduction in inventory save money.

National upscale retailer, Bloomingdale's, recently opened a store in Santa Monica, California – one that is less than one-eighth the size of its flagship New York City store. The store is only two floors and has neither home nor children's sections, both underperforming departments. Chairman and CEO, Michael Gould, told The New York Times that the Santa Monica store is "turning very quickly" because the size allows the store to "be very specific to a customer and to a marketplace."

The trend towards a smaller, more personalized shopping experience shows no signs of abetting. Chains like Niketown, Anchor Blue, and Charlotte Russe are all embracing the new shopping paradigm.
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