The New York Times has a story about how, despite the fact that “just about everyone seems to be questioning the relevance of brick-and-mortar retail,” there are a numb er of retailers that are “pushing back” against the pessimism, continuing to make physical stores the core of their strategic visions.

Stores, the story says, “will most likely remain at the heart of retailing for a long time — even as they evolve to meet the demands of the modern shopper.” Indeed, the story cites a recent report from IHL Group said “retailers will open more new stores than they will close this year” (though most of the growth came from restaurants)

KC's View: The story makes the point, however, that there is something of a conundrum here. Even as retailers continue to believe that physical stores can be relevant to their shoppers, they are investing a lot of capital in their online offerings; this means that while they know they have to create compelling stores to attract shoppers, “they risk rendering their stores even less attractive to shoppers by starving them of investment.”

Core strategies require care and feeding. Not just talking.

And nobody with any measure of intelligence is saying that physical retail is dying. Just that mediocre retailing, through irrelevance, may be facing obsolescence.