Macy’s, the US department stores chain, has recently announced that it is about to close 68 stores nationwide. This operation will cause the sudden unemployment of more than 10.000 people on the US territory. The disappointing Christmas sales led the management of the company, which also owns Bloomingdale’s, to move forward with what was already announced in August 2016. Compared to the 2015 November and December sales the company has lost a 2.1 percent in the established stores. The corporate restructuring aims at preventing further losses and follows the steps of other major retailers that are now facing the changing shopping behaviour. American Apparel filed for its second bankruptcy in November 2016 and Abercrombie & Fitch’s future is not looking bright either. Michael Jeffries, the creator and chief executive officer of the brand, has kindly been invited to leave in December 2015 after the company’s records showed once again a huge loss in sales. There are different reasons why retailers and department stores were not able to cope with the changing shopping behaviour. The new teenagers are not susceptible anymore to the slightly porn advertisments of Abercrombie & Fitch, American Apparel stuck with its praiseworthy decision to keep its prouction plants in the US and the department stores like Macy’s are now facing the strong competition of on-line retailers. In the past two years Amazon‘s net sales went from 1 billion to more than 2.5 billion dollars.
This means that the new services provided to the customers, like Amazon Prime, have met the people’s expectations. Buying online is easier and cheaper. Customer service within these companies is excellent. There is always someone picking up the phone at the first ring telling you where your shoes are and when they will be delivered at your front door. This approach made the customers feel confident in buying on-line. Certainly other brands will be dealing with the changing shopping behaviour and we will be seeing new closures in the shopping streets worldwide. On the other hand if customer service is the key to survive, amid the new shoppers’ mood, we will be experiencing a new approach, inspired by the online customer service, within the actual stores. Human relationships are the added value to the shopping experience.