Retail isn’t dead, especially not for off-price retailer Ross, which opened its planned 100 stores in 2019. Ross and other off-price retailers have seen steady results indicating that they are less susceptible to the decline of full-priced department stores. This is because millennial and GenZ shoppers are heavily driven by price when making purchasing decisions. Ross remains full-speed-ahead with plans to reach 2,400 locations “over time” (it’s less than halfway there), but it needs to remember the over-expansion that led to Payless, Charlotte Russe and Forever 21’s recent demise. While Ross’ business model is admittedly different, it shares the same fickle customer and should consider just how much and how quickly it should expand.

Tween discount retailer Five Below has invested in Nerd Street Gamers, an esports training and facilities company. In exchange for leading the funding round, Nerd Street Gamers will build 3,000 square foot esports gaming centers connected to around 100 Five Below stores. As the need to house vast amounts of inventory dwindles, many retailers with larger footprints have to make use of their extraneous space. Some have turned to gyms and others have invested in VR experiences. Shopping-only retail stores are becoming obsolete.

Macy’s announced its Grow50 initiative, which will provide increased resources to 50 stores to enhance the customer experience. The retailer has been working hard to stay relevant with the addition of STORY at Macy’s and a same-day delivery pilot to compete with Amazon. While it is unclear exactly what “enhance the customer experience” means, Macy’s should use the additional capital to elevate the rest of the store to the level of the STORY at Macy’s experience in New York City. These installations have been a bright spot in its flagship stores, but have also brought attention to the contrast between the updated STORY experience and the squarely mediocre experience that fills the rest of the store. Fifty stores are a good start, but with 863 stores in its fleet, Macy’s should decide what’s working and expedite improvements as soon as possible.

In its latest throw-spaghetti-at-the-wall move, Kohl’s announced a barrage of new initiatives ahead of the holiday season. These include “Curated by Kohl’s,” which showcases digitally-native brands in-store; an “Outfit Bar” to encourage full-outfit purchasing; a revamped beauty section called “Beauty Checkout”; and more celebrity brand partnerships. This comes after the retailer began accepting Amazon returns earlier this year. While the retailer believes these initiatives will lead to increased traffic and ultimately increased revenue, there’s too much going on to discern what is working and what is not. Sure, it can continue to lob new types of pasta at its proverbial wall, but Kohl’s needs to isolate and evaluate everything it currently has before launching anything new.