This Sunday’s NYT asked, “Job Losses and Store Closings are so rapid, it’s measured in ‘dog years’ – Is Retail at a Historic Tipping Point?” 89,000 Americans working in General Merchandise have been laid off since October, which is more people than are in the entire coal industry, the former prime example of an entire industry losing its jobs. Store closings are on pace to eclipse the number of stores closed during the Great Recession of 2008. Online is not winning, retail is giving up. Less and less is in stock yet sales people are not compensated if they try to service you online, so they don’t try making bricks-and-online combo strategies fail. Retail needs to fire every cost cutter and bet every dollar on keeping quality merchandise in stock while retaining the best sales people equipped with handheld checkout devices for their ‘showroom stores’ where you can see, touch or try before you take it home or send it from online. Online returns are a pain.