Letting Department Stores Be Department Stores

Dec 09, 2002
George Anderson

By George Anderson

If department stores want to reinvigorate their businesses, they need to stop trying to compete with discount stores on price and focus on customer service. That is the message that industry experts are delivering to department stores this holiday season.

Arnold Aronson, managing director of retail strategies, Kurt Salmon Associates, told Reuters, “If department stores want to at least stabilize and avoid this continuing loss of market share, they’re going to have to act more like customers expect department stores to act, rather than trying to take on the attributes of discounters,”

Moderator’s Comment: Is the traditional department
store model still viable (i.e. capable of growth) in the current retailing market?

There is a place for traditional department stores in
US retailing. It is a much smaller place, however, than it was in years past.
Anderson – Moderator

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1 Comment on "Letting Department Stores Be Department Stores"

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Gerson P. Abranches
Gerson P. Abranches
14 years 11 months ago

Everything is changing all over the world. But one thing remains the same: Positioning. It would be very complex for them to compete with traditional ones and their special way of doing business. We must take care about that because if it is not running well, the solution is not to change the positioning. We must seek to change the consumer’s mind. From this concept, we can create an adequate promotion to motivate consumers just on the required positioning. To give up a known position is a big step, and may only get good, but false, short range results; but then threaten a long range bankruptcy.