Department stores are fighting hard to figure out how to survive with dwindling mall traffic. Online competition has been extremely harsh- and forcing the old Goliaths into a worrisome position. Even tourism spending in the United States have taken a nose dive- most store fronts you see in populated downtown areas act as more of a billboard for online sales rather than a direct of point of sales- so what are department stores to do?
We See Macy’s and JC Penny’s offering specific in store events (Such as Pia Mia appearances to promote her line) as well as offering exclusive items that can only be purchased in the store. How do you create an awareness for an in store exclusive item with out the internet displaying it online though? With all the competition of online exclusive items (like Pink Dolphin’s exclusive shoes and jacket coming out this Cyber Monday) are exclusive items really going to be enough?
I think for the young, it is easy for them to say “department stores have failed to keep up with the times”. When surveying consumers, more than half (56%) would rather shop down a list on online (explicitly Amazon actually) in a survey done by Kantar Research group. Their maintained existence relies on grandparents and house wives with the time and money to spend shifting through a department store.
My personal feelings about this? Shops are failing to gain enough traffic to their locations. Store fronts and department stores need to function as more of a community hub and less of a one and done attitude. Leverage your 20% that make the 80% of purchases by getting them more into the community. The funnel exists in retail shops as well as online, and need to be treated that way as well.
Of course, with Trump becoming president elect, all sales seem to be down. Prepare for a very slow Black Friday through Cyber Monday.