In the end, most retailers said the trick to staying in business through this difficult time is an unwillingness to fail.
“We need to remember that more than 90 percent of America is employed, so let’s focus on [selling to] the 90 percent,” said Wasserman. “In other words, let’s not focus on the bad — let’s be positive.”
Hassan noted that it’s helpful to embrace the challenge and the need to change. “With a great challenge comes great things,” he said. “Good retailers can shine and come out of this as heroes, and the bad ones will just disappear.”
Jassem said in many ways the retail environment is simply forcing retailers to do what retailers do — and do it better. “We’re all fighting for business, and I’ll tell you, this is what I do,” he said. “I’m going to get out there, and I’m going to sell shoes.”