Yesterday (Sept. 15), Retail Dive's Kelsey Lindsey wrote an interesting article about Macy's, with comments from retail real estate consultant Nick Egelanian.
Egelanian said Macy's recent decision to close up to 40 of its department stores in early 2016 came in response to both the decline of American malls and rapid marketplace changes caused by e-commerce.
Thirty years ago, people went to department stores to do most of their shopping; now they are heading to Target or Wal-Mart.
Another factor playing into the demise of full-line department stores like Sears, J.C. Penney and Macy's, Egelanian said, has been shoppers' decades-long migration away from malls and toward big-box shopping districts.
"While customers may have traveled to department stores for most of their shopping 30 years ago, now they are heading to Target or Wal-Mart," Lindsey wrote, paraphrasing Egelanian's comments.
Big-box stores changed 'where' people shop; e-commerce changed 'how' they shop.
This trend shows some of the logic behind Macy's new line of "Backstage" off-price stores, which it is rolling out closer to the suburban Targets, Wal-Marts and other outlet destinations like Marshalls and T.J. Maxx.
Other ways that department stores are looking to reinvigorate their main stores, is with store-within-a-store partnerships: Best Buy in Macy's locations; Sephora in J.C. Penney; Warby Parker, Bauble Bar and Top Shop in Nordstorm, to name a few.