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Target and Kohl’s Adaptation Strategy Bears Fruit

Two brick-and-mortar companies are operating successfully in a Darwinian retail world

Only the strong survive.

While this adage is somewhat shopworn, it nonetheless is descriptive of the current state of the retail industry, radically upended by the untrammeled growth and oversized presence of the online Goliath, Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). In this unforgiving environment, adopt or die has now become the watchword to determine which legacy department stores will continue to remain viable.

Ever since consumers started doing more of their shopping online, two schools of thought have evolved among security analysts in terms of ascertaining the future prospects for retail chains.

The first group can be characterized as the “Amazon is taking over the world” wing. These analysts are fervent in their belief that death for brick-and-mortar retail is imminent; the sickly patient eventually will be taken off life support. The second group has adopted a wait-and-see attitude of cautious optimism. These analysts, while not jubilant about the future of chain stores, will take note of those old-line retailers that demonstrate flexibility in altering their

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