OK, I admit it; I’ve been covering Costco (NASDAQ:COST) for a while now, and I’d totally forgotten there was any such thing as the Costco Home concept. Word’s breaking today that Costco plans to jettison it, though; that sounds like an obviously prudent move in the current environment.

As it turns out, I can probably be forgiven for forgetting, since there are only two Costco Home stores, located in Kirkland, Washington and Tempe, Arizona; both will close on July 3. This move will not result in any layoffs, nor will it have an impact on Costco’s operations or financial results. It says a lot about our troubled times, though.

Costco’s Jim Sinegal said, “The current economic slowdown and resulting weakness in the home furnishings business in particular have led us to conclude that the single-format Costco Home concept does not fit into our long-term expansion plans.” Shareholders should probably breathe a sigh of relief.

Now that the housing bubble has turned into a bust, it makes sense that the previously insatiable demand for home furnishings has slowed to a crawl. Home Depot (NYSE:HD) has shuttered its own upscale, stand-alone Expo Design Center concept. Target’s (NYSE:TGT) business has also been sluggish lately, and there’s good reason to believe a lot of that has to do with shoppers’ waning appetite for its cheap, chic home goods.

Costco’s move is not the first move like this in the retail landscape, and in my opinion, it certainly won’t be the last. For example, Tiffany (NYSE:TIF) recently decided to shutter its pearl-oriented Iridesse concept. I’ve also wondered whether nascent concepts from retailers like J. Crew (NYSE:JCG) (Madewell) and Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN) (Terrain) will be feasible in the current environment.

Many retail launches seemed like good ideas at the time, when consumers were euphorically spending based on credit and home prices were moving ever higher. Many of those bubble-era concepts should probably be abandoned; instead of demanding more of everything, consumers are focusing on wanting less. Frivolous concepts that don’t appeal to frugal consumers could be albatrosses.

And of course, the ugly consumer climate puts a lot of weak retailers on death watch, too; the newly fiscally responsible consumer is killing retail. The retail landscape is going to look a whole lot less populated when all is said and done.

I still believe Costco is one of the strongest retailers around, given its core mission to provide reasonably priced goods to consumers on budgets. Sometimes a good run is better than a bad stand, and Costco is smart and pragmatic to ditch a separate home concept.

Costco and Home Depot are Inside Value selections. Costco is a Stock Advisor recommendation and The Fool owns shares of it. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Alyce Lomax owns shares of Urban Outfitters, but not any of the other companies mentioned. The Fool has a disclosure policy.