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U.S. Department Stores in Turmoil

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U.S. Department Stores have experienced a rapid and steep decline in both overall sales and sales as a % of overall retail spend in recent years.

As consumer tastes continue to shift, the burden for Department Store leadership teams becomes how to develop and execute a strategic shift in this rapidly changing environment, and how to do so before there is no value left in these one-time dominant retail players.

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U.S. Department Stores in Turmoil

  1. 1. 1 Abraxas Group www.abraxasgp.com U.S. Department Stores inTurmoil February 2017 Macy’s New York City, 1984 Source: Wikimedia
  2. 2. “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” ‒ James Cash Penney Abraxas Group www.abraxasgp.com 2
  3. 3. U.S. Department Stores were a dominant feature of the U.S. Retail landscape through the end of the 20th century. Although they did experience a decline as a relative share of Total Retail Sales from 1992 – 2000, the group saw revenue increase by $55 billion for the period. Closing Out the 20th Century Abraxas Group www.abraxasgp.com 3 0.0% 2.0% 4.0% 6.0% 8.0% 10.0% 12.0% 100 125 150 175 200 225 250 %ofTotalRetailSales Revenue($billions) U.S. Department Store Sales U.S. Department Store Sales % of Total Retail Sales Source: U.S. Census Bureau
  4. 4. From 2001 – 2016, Department Store sales have declined by approximately $73 billion. Over that span of time department store sales as a share of total retail sales have declined by more than half, falling to 3.2% in 2016, from 7.5% in 2001. Sliding to Irrelevance in the 21st Century Abraxas Group www.abraxasgp.com 4 0.0% 1.0% 2.0% 3.0% 4.0% 5.0% 6.0% 7.0% 8.0% 100 125 150 175 200 225 250 %ofTotalRetailSales Revenue($billions) U.S. Department Store Sales U.S. Department Store Sales % of Total Retail Sales Source: U.S. Census Bureau
  5. 5. The Only Solution is Change • Department Store leadership must embrace the reality that they are seeking to execute an outdated strategy is failing to deliver value to customers. • Despite hundreds of store closures in recent years, more are needed to right-size the U.S. Department Store retail footprint. • An over-reliance on discounting has led to a vicious cycle in which department stores are losing the support of key retail partners while simultaneously training their customers to expect consistent, heavy discounting. Abraxas Group www.abraxasgp.com 5
  6. 6. • David Johnson is a career change agent who has served as interim manager or financial advisor to dozens of middle market companies. • In his nearly 20 years as a change agent, David has served as an advisor, board member, interim manager, investor and operator at organizations ranging in size from pre- revenue startups to Fortune 500 organizations. David Johnson Abraxas Group www.abraxasgp.com 6 Email: david@abraxasgp.com Ph: 312-505-7238 Twitter: @TurnaroundDavid

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