“Department stores are dead” all of us have heard this sentence during the last months/ years.
I am not necessarily in line with this statement and as Vittorio Radice says in this article, I believe there is certainly still room for them in our city centres. However, it is true there is something which smells like death in department stores, it's their current format.
A department store in Croydon looks like any other department store in any other corner of the country.
In the future, department stores will have to provide a unique offer which suits their location, such offers should be a well assorted mix of national brands & interesting local business. In order to attract people into their premises they must not only offer products, but provide experiences liaised to the products they sell.
If a department store keeps on being a boring place to find ordinary Christmas presents to buy in bulk, they will slowly but surely be condemned to death.
Instead if they turned into engaging places, mindful of the local community where people can find unique mix of products & experiences, then they may still have a bright future ahead.