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Old Yesterday, 11:41 AM
Location: Central New Jersey
1,613 posts, read 565,030 times
Reputation: 2788


Cheaper prices online. Plus free shipping most of the time. Saves time, money and gas. A no brainer
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Old Yesterday, 11:44 AM
Location: Southwest Washington State
19,002 posts, read 12,587,558 times
Reputation: 24607
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
There is also another underreported problem. So I have been sizes 14-18 for my adult life. And let me tell you it is a frustrating universe. Iím busty and have big thighs which often means many brands donít fit me.

Over the past 20 years 50% of American womanís size has moved to 16 and larger but most brick and mortar stores stop at 14 or 16.

And most department stores have a hideous selection of things over size 14. These clothes are also hiding in the back, dark, dank section of the store.

With the rise of online shopping you get better selection and better customer experience. Why go to stores who treat you like a 3rd class citizen? When only 1-3 stores in the mall have your size - why would you go?

Retailers arenít waking up to reality and are suffering because of it.
Oh yesóa thousand times yes. The plus size department in my local Macyís looks like an afterthought. Clothing is jammed in tight and there are few brands that are quality. And God help us if we fall between 1X and Misses size 14. It is a wasteland for clothing. IMO department stores chase the young and hip, who ironically, like to shop elewhere. To an extent, they also feature career clothing in missesí sizes. But so, so many of their customers canít wear the clothes they carry. And it seems as if the stores never learn.

For many years I bought plus size clothing at Dillards. I watched that dept. grow from a few racks of things, to a full fledged department, and I bought many things there. But when I lost weight, I was suddenly unable to find clothes. I was smaller than a 1X and larger than a size 14. Since then I sometimes find 0X or 14 plus. But they are still hard to find.

I found ordering from catalog retailers like LL Bean and Lands End to be a lifesaver. I seldom visit my local Macyís. I do shop, grudgingly, at my local KohLís, where I can find pants.

The bridge lines of clothing, where you could find better quality clothes are disappearing, as well. The last time I tried on coats at Macyís, I was appalled at the poor quality.

I donít think some department stores care enough to know their customers.
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Old Yesterday, 11:51 AM
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
18,101 posts, read 3,661,517 times
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Old Yesterday, 11:53 AM
417 posts, read 100,463 times
Reputation: 936
Originally Posted by silibran View Post
IMO department stores chase the young and hip, who ironically, like to shop elsewhere.
YES!! And I am neither. I think they keep trying to get the "young and hip" because they buy what's hot and then throw it out the next season and buy new stuff. Lots of money to be made in that. I'm gonna brag here; I'm about to head out for lunch with a friend and will be wearing a dress winter coat I bought at Brooks Brothers in 1983. It's older than my son and has a Union label in it. It's this, but a knee-length version.


I bet clothing retailers hate people like me.
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Old Yesterday, 12:04 PM
Location: State of Transition
73,050 posts, read 64,561,861 times
Reputation: 69003
Originally Posted by dazzleman View Post
I think that if department stores want to do well, they have to offer buyers a good experience. Not everybody wants to buy clothes over the internet without trying them on, or seeing them in person. There is still a market to sell things to people in stores, and not everybody is price sensitive if they are getting the product and experience that they want. But today's department stores, for the most part, don't offer that. They still operate as if people have no other choice but to shop there.
I agree that there are people who prefer to shop in stores, where they can try things on, ask questions of a helpful salesperson, and perhaps have additional merchandise pointed out, that they may have missed. Though stores have been cutting back on staff, I find it's still possible to hav e this type of experience from the better stores. Even at Macy's, it's not that hard to find help. I don't find online shopping convenient, because I end up sending a lot of items back, because the color IRL is different than on screen, the sizing is off, or quality turns out to be poor.

The advantage of Sears, IMO, is that it did carry quality brands in household appliances. Wal-Mart and Target just don't cut it, in that regard. I know a lot of people who depended on Sears for a quality vacuum cleaner, kitchen appliances, and the large kitchen appliances, like fridge and oven/stove. Now that Sears has closed, there's no place to get that stuff in my town; not the higher-quality brands.

However, I'm surprised the OP lists Dillard's as one of the better stores. Dillard's in my state is terrible! The OP's comment makes me wonder, if the buyers for the store make very different selections, dependent on what region of the country they're buying for. Dillard's in my area seems very out of touch, like from a different planet entirely, compared to Macy's and especially Nordstrom's and the better stores (which Lord & Taylor is supposed to be, so I'm mystified that Dillard's is placed in the same class....??)

Regarding the "poor management" comment, this is surprisingly true of some US department store chains. I knew someone, who worked for a couple of the dept. store chains, and they said the department supervisors have no training at all in retail, especially in managing inventory to maximize sales, and maintaining organized back storage rooms, not to mention--no training in sales analysis, which apparently is too much to expect. Most department or floor managers are therefore unmotivated. Oversight regarding these things only comes from regional managers, who show up periodically, in their tour of many stores throughout a region, and they offer no guidance to lower management and mid-level staff. To the rare staff person with an education in business management, it appears that these stores aren't serious about running a successful business. That's my "insider's perspective" report.

Last edited by Ruth4Truth; Yesterday at 12:16 PM..
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Old Yesterday, 12:10 PM
Location: Northern panhandle WV
2,293 posts, read 1,766,741 times
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Originally Posted by tnff View Post
While I agree on line is a part of it, I think a much bigger part is poor management -- poor quality product, poor service, and poor selection.

I can remember Sears when you could get anything. From furniture to appliances to tools to fishing to farming. If they didn't have it in the store, there was a specialty catalog. But their service and product selection went to nothing. They got rid of much of what made them and tried to focus on fashion. Walmart came along with lower prices on everyday clothes and others had better selection of fashion.

Quality went down as they sold more Chinese junk rather than high quality products. The brand went from being recognized for quality and dependability to crap. Like someone said above, Sears was the Amazon model before the internet. But that backed out of that line of service. If they'd been smart, they would have been Amazon. Then bought Kmart. Dumb financial decision to buy what in many cases was the other anchor store in the same mall and was already struggling.

Many other major retailers went under well before the internet came along -- Woolworth, Montgomery Ward, etc. Got taken over by Harvard MBAs who understood finance, but not customers. Sold cheap junk when Walmart was selling higher quality at the same or lower prices. Now Walmart is following in their footsteps being filled with cheap Chinese junk. As Walmart is now, Sears and Kmart once were. As Sears and Kmart are now, Walmart will be. Add in more competitors all selling the same junk, no service to draw customers into the stores, and the ability to shop when you want in your own home with free shipping, and it's no wonder they are going out of business.
Sears did NOT buy Kmart. Kmart bought Sears, which I always thought was surprising and insane. It is what turned Sears into a cheap knock off and killed it after so long as a very good store.
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Old Yesterday, 12:22 PM
Status: ""Don't count the days; make the days count "" (set 19 days ago)
Location: Eastern Long Island, New York
348 posts, read 96,862 times
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Originally Posted by athena53 View Post

And something has happened to the demand for mall shopping- not sure what, but it's hit the department stores badly since that's where most of their business was. Mall shopping used to be almost a hobby for some people and now they must be doing other things with their time.

A well writtten article on what happened to the demand for mall shopping

American Malls and Department Stores are Dying Off

Why the death of malls is about more than shopping

Some of those jobs can be found in the massive distribution centers Amazon has opened across the country, often not too far from malls the company helped shutter. One of them is in Breinigsville, Pa., 45 miles from Schuylkill.

But those are workplaces, not gathering places. The mall is both. And in the 61 years since the first enclosed one opened in suburban Minneapolis, the shopping mall has been where a huge swath of middle-class America went for far more than shopping. It was the home of first jobs and blind dates, the place for family photos and ear piercings, where goths and grandmothers could somehow walk through the same doors and find something they all liked. Sure, the food was lousy for you and the oceans of parking lots encouraged car-heavy development, something now scorned by contemporary planners. But for better or worse, the mall has been America’s public square for the last 60 years.

So what happens when it disappears?

Think of your mall. Or think of the one you went to as a kid. Think of the perfume clouds in the department stores. The floating Muzak. The fountains splashing below the skylights. The cinnamon wafting from the food court. As far back as ancient Greece, societies have congregated around a central marketplace. In medieval Europe, they were outside cathedrals. For half of the 20th century and almost 20 years into the new one, much of America has found their agora on the terrazzo between Orange Julius and Sbarro, Waldenbooks and the Gap, Sunglass Hut and Hot Topic.

That mall was an ecosystem unto itself, a combination of community and commercialism peddling everything you needed and everything you didn’t: Magic Eye posters, wind catchers, Air Jordans, slap bracelets. The giant department stores that held its flanks–Saks, the Bon-Ton, Bloomingdale’s, Elder-Beerman–were miniature malls unto themselves, with their own escalators and sections and scents.

America's Malls and Department Stores Are Dying Off | Time

Last edited by NY 915; Yesterday at 12:34 PM..
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Old Yesterday, 12:30 PM
4,269 posts, read 4,587,548 times
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Originally Posted by Pink Jazz View Post
Interestingly, one of the best performing department stores currently is Kohl's. What could be helping them are modern stores and the fact that most of their stores are located outside of malls.

I was thinking the same thing. I'm always at Kohls. I can't remember the last time I went to JCPenny or Sears. I shop on Amazon all the time but I never buy clothes or appliances from Amazon.
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Old Yesterday, 12:34 PM
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,779 posts, read 42,918,745 times
Reputation: 57518
I donít know why people donít like department stores, but I canít remember the last time I was in one.
I am a bundle of aberrant sizes, and department stores dont have them. Also, all the department stores seem to have the same boring things. If department stores all had tall pants and wide width shoes, Iíd go more often.
I know which brands of clothing fit me, and i like things that are a bit quirky, so I order them online.
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Old Yesterday, 12:42 PM
506 posts, read 145,884 times
Reputation: 796
Why the hate for Dillard’s? It’s a nice mid-tier to upper-mid-tier store. Lord & Taylor is a hybrid between Dillard’s and Saks/Nordstrom; there is some overlap. I wouldn’t shop at Kohl’s and I wouldn’t buy clothes at JCPenney other than maybe a pair of khakhis for the weekend, but I’ll shop at Dillard’s just as happily as I’ll shop at Lord & Taylor or Nordstrom.
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