Department stores were the 20th century's marvelous shopping destination. Retailers that were filled with varied and often unique merchandise, offering high levels of convenience and attentive customer service.
That heyday is over. The model, which went from dominating city downtowns to dominating malls, is beset by outside forces and in some cases by the retailers' own missteps. It's not clear yet whether it can be successfully updated for the 21st century — players like Nordstrom, Macy's and Saks are trying.
Here are six key metrics that serve as clues into department stores' woes:. . . more