From Department Stores To Marketplaces

From Department Stores To Marketplaces

During the last week of August, Lord & Taylor decided everything must go. America’s oldest department store, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on August 2, initially planned to keep 19 of its 38 locations open. Then it cut the number to 14 remaining stores. Finally, the department store decided to close all its locations and to liquidate everything, including in-store fixtures, furniture and equipment. While Lord & Taylor was America’s first department store, it wasn’t the first department store to declare bankruptcy this year, with the retailer joining J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus and Stein Mart in that category. For years, department stores have, for the most part, unsuccessfully struggled with what we have called Retail’s Great Restructuring. The declining appeal of department stores, and some other physical retailers, is coinciding with the rising appeal of online marketplaces. During that last week in August, when Lord & Taylor decided to call it quits, luxury online marketplace Fashionphile announced a new $38.5 million funding round.Online marketplaces, digital iterations of traditional department stores, bring together awide range of goods from numerous sellers, all on one site, but, unlike most department stores, marketplaces are attuned to the needs and desires of the digitally trained consumer. 

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