As we near the end of 2020, the prognosis for the American department store is grimmer than it’s ever been. The reasons extend far beyond Covid-19 or even the continued rise of online shopping, and have more to do with trends in the American economy that have been shrinking the middle class while enriching the already wealthy. That’s why the decline of these retail giants is something to pay attention to. They employ hundreds of thousands of people and occupy an outsize space in our communities; their gradual disappearance, as well as what is replacing them, tells us something about where we’re headed.
—Samantha Oltman, editor of Recode
This is from Recode. You know, people talking about technological change? Technological change being the thing killing the department store. We don’t need nor desire generalist retailers as a specialist is only a mouse click away….