Can the American department store be saved? 10 retail experts weigh in

By | January 13, 2016

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In an effort to revitalize their stores and appeal to younger consumers who are spending more on experiences over hard goods, U.S. department stores are investing millions of dollars into luxe renovations and souped-up in-store experiences.

Macy’s just unveiled a millennials-focused basement, filled with selfie stations and popular teenage apparel brands, while Bergdorf Goodman recently opened a swanky revamp of its jewelry floor. A recent article in Business of Fashion summarized some of the motivation behind these moves: It’s a plan to “bring back the magic to businesses built on nostalgia.”

The question is, will these makeovers be enough?

RetailWire, an online retail discussion forum, asked its BrainTrust panel of retail experts the following questions:

  • How important a role should nostalgia play in reviving the department store format?
  • Is there a department store operator inside or outside the U.S. that you think has the best handle on what it will take to succeed in both the present and the future?

Here are 10 of the best comments from that discussion. Comments have been edited by Retail Dive for content and length.