Analysis: Department store Darwinism – how the fittest thrive

Selfridges bag

Department stores have suffered a dismal few years. Once-loved names such as Debenhams and House of Fraser are in the emergency room after their administrations and profits have evaporated at bellwether John Lewis.

But there were exceptions that delivered powerful performances – the landmark stores such as Fortnum & Mason and Selfridges.

Some say they their unique destination stores makes life easier for them. But isn’t that a convenient excuse. Shouldn’t mass-market businesses recognise and adapt the reasons for their success?

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