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Retail In The Age Of Amazon: How These Department Stores Are Reinventing Themselves


Department store chains across the country are facing declining sales, drops in market value and hundreds of store closings, forcing brick-and-mortar retailers to adopt new strategies to get people in the stores.

As we reported back in August, analysts are predicting Amazon will unseat Macy’s as the leading apparel retailer in the US by 2017. At a staggering $265B, Amazon has already topped Walmart's valuation by over $30B. 

"It has increased the expectation on the industry to be innovative," ICSC CEO Tom McGee told Bisnow recently. Here are some of the strategies traditional retailers are adopting.

For some chains, architecture and redevelopment are key. Barney's, for instance, will soon open a new luxurious store in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, right where the original Barney's once stood. The store will feature a massive spiral staircase, imagined as a modern homage to the grandeur of yesteryear.

Neiman Marcus is bringing high-tech into the shopping experience: the retailer has installed "Memory Mirrors" that capture 360-degree images of every outfit you try on, and customers can even share them via email or social media.

Other retailers are revamping their images with fine cuisine (an example of the industry-wide "experience" trend), lots of pampering and other exclusive services. Saks is building new high-end eateries and spas within its flagship stores, while Nordstrom is betting on pop-up shops.

Meanwhile, Bloomingdale's is bringing designers and celebrities to its stores for special events. [Fortune