When you think of American business as usual, you used to think of robust corporations ever expanding. That's no longer the case these days. In order to stay profitable, many large companies are actually having to shrink. It may not be popular, but it helps with survival of the species.
As consumers spend less and banks lend less, businesses are reducing their staffs, inventories and assets, so they can work leaner and meaner. For example, Target is testing stores which carry 50% fewer products. Airlines are cutting back on flights and services. Macy's has closed down redundant and unprofitable stores in various locations, and we've all heard the horror stories of, and perhaps been directly affected by, companies laying off a decent proportion of their staffs to reduce payroll expenditures.