The traditional department store was clearly the center of activity in the retail and smaller cities in the United States in the first half of the 20th Century. But in the late 1970s and beyond, the department store industry began having financial problems and serious questions have been raised whether it was eminently end. This article traces the development of the industry, and examines some of the underlying dynamics of the changes in the retail sector, includi … Read more »

The traditional department store was clearly the center of activity in the retail and smaller cities in the United States in the first half of the 20th Century. But in the late 1970s and beyond, the department store industry began having financial problems and serious questions have been raised whether it was eminently end. This article traces the development of the industry, and examines some of the underlying dynamics of the changes in the retail sector, including the development of new alternative retail formats, such as discount stores and category killers. This study examines the key strategies of the leading traditional stores with regard to new industry life cycle models, and strategic positioning framework uses. Of particular interest is the discussion related to: Were the traditional department stores were “locked in” to a declining trajectory? How effective were their strategies to counter the decline in the industry? And what were and are the repositioning options available to traditional department stores?
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from
Homer H. Johnson,
Sung Min Kim
Source: Business Horizons
11 pages.
Release Date: 15, November 2009. Prod #: BH360-PDF-ENG
As a strategy pales: Lessons from the Department Store Industry HBR case solution

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