Why America’s department stores are in free fall


Source: The Week – Business

An already bad year for department stores is getting worse, said Lindsey Rupp at Bloomberg. After a lackluster holiday season, “every major chain in the industry” has reported disappointing quarterly sales. Macy’s reported that its quarterly profits fell 38 percent, to $71 million, from the same period a year ago. Kohl’s, Nordstrom, J.C. Penney, Dillard’s, and Hudson’s Bay Co., which owns Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor, all reported steep declines in same-store sales. The crushing results added a new layer of urgency to department stores’ efforts to slash expenses. Macy’s, for example, already has plans to close 100 underperforming stores, eliminating some 4,000 jobs, and executives say more closures might be necessary. Department stores, it seems, have a new mantra: “How quickly can we cut?”

Macy’s has become the new poster child for the retail apocalypse, said Abha Bhattarai at The Washington…

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