One thing retailers can do, though: band together. New organization S-3 in New York ("Shop Small Stores" -- not original, but to the point) is gathering boutique owners to swap tips for customer retention, lobby for more tax-free days, create a festive atmosphere for the month of May, and plaster their windows with stickers of the org's ugly, generic logo. Small boutiques, listen here: Your advantages lie in your small size and ability to give personalized service to the customers in your niche. Just do what you're doing well, and please use your windows to show off your merchandise, not unnecessary signage.
In other, non-Topshop-related good news for New York, the city is considering taking over an 8th Avenue building to run as a nonprofit space for apparel manufacturing only, a rare respite in the gradual takeover of the Garment District by restaurants and other non-apparel businesses.