I came across a very interesting article, a list of ideas and thoughts, really, from INC. magazine.
It has a vast array of things to consider during challenging times - how to connect with customers more, how to reward employees when fund are tight, how to be ready for when the market improves, etc. All of these are proven suggestions from a variety of companies.
There could be some nuggets here for you to consider using in your world
If you have other ideas or thoughts of things that other retailers could consider trying, send them on back to me as comments and I'll add them to this blog post for others to see.