Department stores. What prospects and strategies?
According to several department store managers interviewed by our editors, the return to normal should not take place before 2021. At a time when certain groups such as J.C.Penney and Neiman Marcus (U.S.) or Debenhams and House of Fraser (U.K.) are already among the announced victims, a question arises: what will make some of them pass the year 2020, and others not?
First of all, the crisis has become a trend accelerator. The difficulties of retailers that were weakened before the crisis are deepening. This is the case for Neiman Marcus, which had a colossal debt, as well as for Macy’s, which finds itself threatened with bankruptcy.
In terms of capital structure, some retailers seem to be better armed than others. “Groups such as the very dynamic Nordstrom in the U.S., Selfridges in the U.K. or Galeries Lafayette in France have the strength of having a family behind them,” an industry expert told us anonymously. “They may lighten their store fleets, but I think they will survive”.