Analysis: Does US department store reinvention show way for UK?

Bloomingdales New York

As one-time US department store titan Barneys collapses into bankruptcy, we look at what lessons UK department stores can learn from their Stateside counterparts on what to do and not to do.

It’s not an easy time for many department stores in the UK, from House of Fraser’s dismal performance under Sports Direct to Debenhams skating on thin ice after its CVA earlier this year.

While upmarket outliers such as LibertyHarrods and Selfridges have delivered strong results, middle-market operators have found themselves under pressure. It is a similar story in the US, as Macy’s profit warning alongside its second-quarter results this week indicated.

So, what are the lessons that British retailers can learn from the US on what to do – and not do – to avoid Barneys’ fate?

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