Check this article about Starbucks by the Wall Street Journal. Just like Wal-mart is looking for ways to improve profit margins by bringing a new retail design, Starbucks is expecting to cut costs by adapting the Lean techniques into the way they make the coffee.
It is a couple of months old, I know. But you might have missed it. And since we've been talking about retailers today, I think it fits the theme. The economy is challenging top management and marketers to respond with new and better ways to make $$$. There is quite a bit for retail architects to catch on.