Last week Hudson’s Bay announced 2,000 job cuts. This week Sears Canada raised doubts about its future. Are the days of the department store dead?
Sadly, I think they are; maybe not in the next few years but definitely in the next decade. You only have to look back at what has been happening in the past 10 years to know the department store model has been in trouble.
I shopped at the Bay on the weekend and saw how customer service has declined. There were long lineups at tills and few staff on the floor to answer customers’ questions.
We all bear some responsibility in this decline. Online shopping has been the biggest competitor for larger stores.
Addressing the bottom line usually means a cut in staff. Less staff means more waiting and in a society where we have become accustomed to having everything on-demand, we turn our backs on a way of shopping whose time has passed.