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TheStreet Open House

How to Save Best Buy, Radio Shack From an Ugly Death

Stocks in this article: BBY RSH SBUX AAPL

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Jack Dorsey is a year younger than me. That fact alone makes me want to drown myself in a tub of Jack Daniels.

Jack Dorsey founded Twitter in 2006. Of course, he conceived the concept several years earlier.

Jack Dorsey had the inspiration for Square in 2009. By 2010, he rolled out the application. Just a few weeks ago, Square signed a landmark mobile payments deal with Starbucks (SBUX - Get Report).

I was fortunate enough to appear on CNBC's Squawk on the Street Wednesday morning. I discussed the future of brick and mortar retail with Stacey Widlitz, president of S. W. Retail Advisors.

As you watch the video, it becomes clear that Stacey and I run in different worlds. But, that's good. It makes for varied conversation.

Surprisingly, the CNBC host I was most frightened of going into the interview -- Simon Hobbs -- caught my drift more than the others. That became evident before I even spoke. Hobbs says what I pretty much had planned on saying to open the segment.

While I can't say I blame retailers for closing stores and shrinking square footage, there's a contradiction inherent in Widlitz's notion that "Retailers need to embrace store closures and right-size their stores."

You likely spend your days stoned and your nights sleeping if you have missed the almost constant onslaught of new Starbucks' store openings. They just finished building condos down the way from me in Santa Monica. Starbucks will anchor the development, about a pebble's toss from another location.

Lululemon (LULU), according to its most recent annual report, plans to open up to 30 stores in the U.S. in fiscal year 2012.

Apple (AAPL - Get Report), of course, continues to expand its retail footprint; in fact, here in Santa Monica, it will soon move to a new, larger location so it can better accommodate traffic.

Along similar lines, the massive spending of Amazon.com (AMZN) -- the stuff that drives bears crazy -- goes toward, by and large, new distribution centers.

Of course, you could say, "That's unfair! How can you compare the leaders -- SBUX, LULU and AAPL -- to laggards like Best Buy (BBY) and Radio Shack (RSH - Get Report)." And, "How can you compare them to Amazon? Different models!"

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