Selfridges London - featuring unbelievably inspiring and brave promotional sculpture
Is a department store a department store if it closes departments that are failing?
Is the department store business model dead-in-the-water?
Firstly, I think the world is dancing on a pin head. Never let a category name define your business.
A department store is simply a retailer with varying numbers of departments….correction varying numbers of departments relevant to the audience it is trying to appeal.
Looking through the correct end of the telescope, future success is all about customer relevance.
So to me, as a customer, Amazon & Alibaba are as much department stores as Selfridges (voted worlds best) and John Lewis (possibly the most trusted retail brand in the world)…all four, in differing ways, have always put the customer at the heart of their very ‘being’ and all four are phenomenally successful….. all four know they are in the business of being chosen, know precisely why they exist, and relentlessly build their businesses around their customers in a highly emotional, highly differentiated and forensically smart manner.
If you fall short on any one of these evolving customer needs you’ll end up like a dinosaur….big and extinct!