Despite a healthy consumer, improved inventory control and investments to enhance their customer experience, department stores will continue to face margin pressure following the sales drop-off seen in December, according to a report on the sector by Moody's Investors Service emailed to Retail Dive.
Moody's expects square footage within the sector to fall some 4% after a 13% or so decline last year, driven mostly by Sears' bankruptcy, according to the report. So far this year, Kohl's has already announced four closures and J.C. Penney 18, and that should help them add share in remaining stores, Moody's said.. . . more