Every department store in America, from the low end to the high, has tried some way to drag the retail concept into the 21st century. It's a monumental task, considering the model was born in the 1800s, and enjoyed its last heyday in the 1950s. The effort has had mixed results. Now COVID-19 has introduced new urgency, and possibly new goals.
J.C. Penney partnered with Sephora, and later added, then dumped, appliance sales. Macy's and Nordstrom have each invested in retail's cutting edge, with varying degrees of success. Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus both saw potential in New York City, the turf of Saks Fifth Avenue, whose flagship has had a multi-million dollar renovation with a gleaming new escalator. Lord & Taylor agreed to ownership by an apparel rental company. Kohl's decided to take Amazon's returns to get new customers through the door. Several have embarked on turnarounds and even rebooted turnarounds (sometimes multiple times). . . . more