Big corporations have taken over many of our regional department stores.
Is this a good thing, or is it bad?
What have we gained?
What have we lost?
Department stores are not actually vanishing. Department stores are everywhere.What is vanishing are our favorite brands–the department stores we grew up with; those wonderful department stores where we could go and knew that they would have the merchandise that was selected with us in mind. We could count on those stores not only for quality but also for service. The ambienceof meeting for lunch in their fabulous tearooms was special.
While we have many more shopping options than in the past (on-line, catalogues, e-bay, large discounters, and small shops in shopping malls . . .) those options fail to meet all needs. Since the 1980’s, when many of our regional departmentstores were taken over by larger department store conglomerates, there have been cries of dismay from coast to cost. In Chicago, they are doing more that just moaning about their loss of Marshall Field’s, they have mounted a huge protest to regain the Marshall Fields name. While their sole motivation is to restore Marshall Fields, their efforts have significantly eroded the profits of Macy’s in the Chicago area.
On the other hand, large department store conglomerateshave a lot more clot at the bargaining table. They are able to purchase mechandise at lower prices and pass the savings on to their customers.
Whether the loss of our regional department stores is this a good thing or bad actually depends on your perspective.