Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Department stores fight for relevance ahead of Black Friday

Boston Business Journal
As department stores head into the busiest shopping period of the year, the outlook for them is bleak. IHS Markit forecasts US department store sales will drop 6 per cent in November and December, worse than the 2.8 per cent decline in the 2018 season. This bucks the wider trend in US retail, where IHS expects sales to rise 4.6 per cent year-on-year during the two months, to reach more than $730bn.

“In the old days [department stores] acted as a curator of other people’s products under one roof,” said Peter Williams, former chief executive of Selfridges in the UK and now chairman of Superdry. “The internet has blown a hole in that process.” He added: “All the products are available elsewhere and they don’t have a strong enough identity as destinations in themselves.”. . . more