Oh, the news that came out the first week of January. Sears. Kmart. Macy’s. Kohl’s. Sales are falling and stores are closing.
The doom and gloom news inspired me to write this piece for LinkedIn: “Department Stores Need to Stop Chasing Amazon and Become Destinations Again.”
Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. I wrote a thought-leadership piece that condemned department stores for taking on Amazon.
It’s not just because Amazon keeps taking a bigger chunk of the ecommerce pie, but because department stores are not Amazon, and need to stop acting like Amazon.
Department stores have a special place in the heart of Americana, and they are no longer the destination of the American shopper. But instead of trying to improve on the in-store shopping experience which once made department stores great, the big-wigs at the top are gunning for the Amazon customer. And the Amazon customer, for the most part, is not setting foot inside a department store.
In the article, I point out 4 things department stores need to do to win back market share. And those 4 things are really just the tip of the iceberg.
One thing I love about blogging on the LinkedIn platform is the comments from well-informed, targeted readers. They have brought up additional reasons that they feel are keeping shoppers away from department stores.
The most prominent reason so far: The death of the shopping mall. The post readers point out that department store traffic is down because the great shopping mall of the 70s and 80s (and even the 90s) is dying. But at the same time, some readers note that even though malls may not be the shopping Meccas they once were, the department stores themselves need to make them self must-shop destinations they were back in the day.
Take a look at Broadway Mall in Hicksville, NY (out on the Island). It was once a dying mall until home furnishings giant destination Ikea came on board in the 1990s. Shortly after that, a Target store replaced an empty anchor, and the mall – located just a few miles from the gigantic Roosevelt Field mall – has thrived ever since.