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Department stores emerge as concern along with Dollar stores


The retail consulting and research firm Customer Growth Partners is out with a new report highlighting the fact that department stores gained market share last year for the first time in nearly three decades. According to CGP’s study, department stores’ share of the U.S. retail market rose for the first time since the 1980’s, fueled both by innovation and superior mall anchor execution combined with top-line weakness at the granddaddy of off-mall big-boxes, Walmart’s U.S. division, which is now suffering through almost two years of lagging sales.

“Department stores from Macy’s to Nordstrom, and mall operators from Macerich to Simon, have used the recession not just to cut costs, but to reinvent themselves, and they’ve emerged from the worst retail debacle in decades stronger and hugely more relevant to the needs and lifestyles of today’s consumers,” said CGP president Craig Johnson.

To be sure, not all department stores, nor all mall operators, are enjoying the same turnaround that the leading players are seeing, according to Johnson, who singled out Sears Holdings and mall operator General Growth Partners as examples of laggards.

“Industry leaders such as Macy’s, Nordstrom and Saks have all used the recession’s down years to reinvest and reinvent themselves for today’s shoppers, and to bring back levels of newness, excitement and execution not seen in years,” Johnson said.

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