Retail Trends: 10 Inside Strategies To Save The American Department Store
Macy's is closing 5% of its stores. Sears' stock is plummeting even as it sells off properties. Holiday sales dropped. Even the Apple Store is struggling. Can brick-and-mortar turn it around in 2016? Per Retail Dive, here are 10 expert takes on how the industry can bring shoppers back in the fold.
Affluent Insights President Christopher P. Ramey
Make the customers want you
"Department stores should be focusing on Millennials who have no concept or need for nostalgia—they're already annoyed at how far behind most department stores are. Reinvent the category. Do something innovative. Make me want to walk into your doors or visit your site; give me a reason to want to buy something from you."
Wiser Founder And Executive Chairman Arie Shpanya
Be like Amazon
"Department stores need to develop a fearless attitude like Amazon has in order to move forward. It's about learning what works, abandoning what doesn't, and continuing to test the boundaries of what's possible."
TXT Retail Director Of Business Development Larry Negrich
Develop your brand
"Being everything to everyone in order to drive quick sales gains is a strategy hard to achieve in the short-term, and distracting and disastrous in the long-term. Tech definitely helps execution, but brand is power."
Lenati Partner Martin Mehalchin
Keep up with the times (and forget nostalgia!)
"The traditional department store model comes from an era when retail was organized and run as the endpoint on a long supply chain. The world has changed to one where consumer-centric business models win. Forget nostalgia and focus on understanding and serving the consumer."
WD Partners EVP For Brand, Strategy & Design Lee Peterson
Get over your history!
"What Ron Johnson was attempting to do at Penney's was spot on in terms of what department stores need to have happen (his methodology might have been off, I'll admit): blow it up. Sad to say, but the Penney's experience/example is one that most department stores are still stuck in: short-term thinking 101. Get over your history. Step up to 80 million new customers that don't care about that."
Upstream Commerce Strategic Market Communications Naomi K. Shapiro
"Nostalgia is for yesterday's shoppers. While those shoppers control a large piece of the revenue, they are not the ones taking shopping to the next level. Those shoppers are younger and know how to shop both in the store and online. These are the groups needing to be targeted."
rDialogue CEO Phil Rubin
Avoid Nordstrom's mistake
"The reason Nordstrom is no longer going to outperform isn't the warm weather; it's that they have succumbed to the myopic 'pressure' of promotion and the belief that more is better. Yes, Nordstrom does some things very well and better than others, but it's no longer enough of a differentiator and certainly not enough of a reason to visit a physical store."
Alert Technologies President Marge Laney
Innovate fitting rooms
"Department stores mainly sell apparel and the decision to buy apparel is mainly made in the fitting room. Department stores have done little to improve the fitting room experience. Creating an engaging fitting room experience that brings the brand into the fitting room through design and delivering service that meets the expectations of the customer should be an investment priority."
SAP Global Retail Business Unit Global VP For Strategic Communications Tom Redd
Put a premium on display and environment
"Many retailers are shifting to the Galleries Lafayette-style of store-in-a-store. Little boutiques surround a floor. Spirit of department stores: the display and environment convince you that you REALLY NEED certain merchandise."
Graff Retail President Kevin Graff
Keep up with specialty retailers
"The reality is that most department stores are being out-retailed by specialty retailers outside their doors. Let's face it, you can get better product selection, better pricing (higher and lower), better merchandising and better service most everywhere else. That's not to say that higher-end urban-based department stores can't/won't cut it in the future. They stand the best chance to provide a differentiated experience."