Here we go again: Death knell for the department store?

Every so often, somebody from the specialty apparel world declares the death of the traditional department store. This time, it’s Leslie Wexner, the driving force behind Limited Brands, as quoted in a recent RetailWire discussion.) Not all traditional department stores are doing as well as Macy’s, but it’s hard to write off an entire segment when the market leader is robust and innovative:

Les Wexner’s comments are ironic given the flat business in women’s specialty apparel these days. Meanwhile, a well-run department store like Macy’s can push the sales-driving buttons wherever they happen to be…home, handbags, shoes and so forth.

So the demise of the traditional department store is premature, as long as we’re talking about Macy’s combination of omnichannel, store and merchandising initiatives.

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