U.S. retailers are staring into the abyss. And they aren’t doing one of the few things within their power to avert disaster, or at least not quickly enough. This year has been brutal for department stores and mall retailers. Sales tumbled as more consumers shopped at Amazon.com and continued to shift their spending toward services and away from physical goods. There appears to be no end in sight when it comes to both trends, which leaves most bricks-and-mortar retailers all but powerless to stop the customer exodus from their stores. Even the retailers’ own e-commerce sales, which are growing as a percent of total revenue, come at lower margins than their in-store sales. Having a lot of physical stores has become a burden. And closing stores is one of the few ways retailers can stem the bleeding. Some, including Gap, Ralph Lauren and Macy’s, have already announced closures for this year. Still, for many, even a seemingly significant round of closures may not go far enough. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.