History of the American Department Stores Essay

History of the American Department Stores Essay

Length: 3093 words (8.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

1.0 - Introduction
Over the years, the American department store has developed and evolved as not only a commercial business but also a cultural institution. While it has weathered many storms and changes since its inception and throughout history, its most predominant enemy has been a change in the lifestyle of the American people (Whitaker, 2013). As the customer’s needs and wants have shifted, department stores have struggled to keep up with demands. It has been argued that the decline of the department store has been ongoing for the last 50 years (Whitaker, 2013). This dissertation aims to understand how the department store has historically played a role in consumer culture and spending, and additionally, how this has evolved and changed in today’s retail market. Although department stores may not be able to take all the credit for inventing modern shopping, they certainly made its conventions and conveniences commonplace. They set a new standard for the way the consumer should expect to be treated, the type of services that should be provided, and the convenience that should attend the process of acquiring the necessities and niceties of life all in one place. They made shopping into a leisure pastime. This environment meant shopping was a means of freedom to look around, pick up objects with no obligations to buy. As one historian remarked, department stores: “encouraged a perception of the building as a public place, where consumption itself was almost incidental to the delights of a sheltered promenade in a densely crowded, middle-class urban space” (Whitaker, 2006). Although this perception and view of the department store has changed over the years, this paper aims to follow the trail of how and why that happened.

... middle of paper ...

...er that same period. This may indicate that consumers are going online to make the purchases they once made at department stores.‬

‪And those trends have been going on for more than a year. Whatever role nonstore retailers are playing in the decline of department store sales, looking at the two together shows just how dramatic the downward trend in department store sales is compared to a segment with which those stores often compete.‬
‪The idea that department stores might be losing out to retailers like Amazon is not a new one. However, the extent to which one affects the other is not entirely clear. More specialized, non-department stores may also play a role in pulling department store sales downward. Clothing store sales, for example, grew slightly, by 1.2 percent, from January 2013 to January 2014 while department store sales declined. (Census Bureau, 2014)

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

History of Advertising in the United States Essay

- Good to the last drop. This iconic slogan is just one of many that helped build print media advertising into the powerhouse it is today. With such a powerful slogan like good to the last drop, which was tag lined in 1926 by Maxwell House’s but is still used today, we wonder where did advertising all begin in America. According to P. G. Kishels’ book; The rise of advertising in the United States: a history of innovation to 1960 we learn that advertising started all the way back in the 17th century....   [tags: media, history, marketing, ]

Powerful Essays
1390 words (4 pages)

Holidays and Our Consumer Culture: The History and Current Trends for Christmas Shopping

- Holidays have always been known to affect our consumer culture for many years, but how it all began eludes many people and very few studies have been completed on it. Even though some say that the subject is too broad to precisely identify how holidays, especially Christmas, directly affect our market, I have found that people’s values, expectations and rituals related to holidays can cause an excessive amount of spending among our society. Most people are unaware that over the centuries holidays have become such a profitable time of year for industries that they now starting to promote gift ideas on an average of a month and a half ahead of actual holiday dates to meet consumer demands....   [tags: economy, american history]

Powerful Essays
2121 words (6.1 pages)

Macy 's, Inc. Essay

- Macy’s operates around 900 stores in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico under different names including Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Bloomingdale’s Outlet, Macy 's Backstage and Bluemercury, as well the following websites macys.com, bloomingdales.com and bluemercury.com ("About Us - Macy’s, Inc."). As a large well rounded company Macy’s has a long history and is full of innovative ideas for the future. Aside from its financial strength in its large number of stores, and great ideas for the future, they provide employment for approximately 166,900 people ("About Us - Macy’s, Inc.")....   [tags: Macy's, Department store, Bloomingdale's]

Powerful Essays
1210 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on Major Challenges Of The Fashion Industry

- ... The Hudson’s Bay as a fashion destination is competitive within the fashion industry. Although it holds a valuable presence within our history and shopping scene, The Hudson’s Bay success comes with many challenges and is an example needing to meet customer loyalty. “The key is to stay progressive and keep the atmosphere fun, so when customers come in they want to participate” (Idaho, 2007; 18). This quote exemplifies how important it is that The Hudson’s Bay (fashion department in particular), consistently progresses and reinvents itself to safe guard its presence in the retail market by engaging Canadian customers to ‘participate’ in their store....   [tags: Department store, Retailing, Sales, Brand]

Powerful Essays
1350 words (3.9 pages)

Lancer Gallery ( Llc ) Essay

- Lancer Gallery (LLC) is a company that sells and sources South American and African artifacts, jewelry and pottery. Lancer Gallery originated as a trading post in the early 1900s and now one of the most reputed dealers in southwestern artifacts. Lancer is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona with branches in Los Angeles, Boston and Miami. In Recent years Lancer has started to expand its product line to include 1) Columbian artifacts from Peru and Venezuela. 2) Tribal and Burial artifacts from Africa....   [tags: Department store, Marketing, Contract, Debenhams]

Powerful Essays
716 words (2 pages)

History of the Use of Credit Cards Essay

- ... One if you are living at home with your parents, they can co-sign on a student loan, put a house bill in your name, such as the power bill or water bill. If your parents’ credit score is high according to Fair, Isaac, and Company (FICO), you can consider them to assist you with a credit card in your name but using their account. Show responsibility by opening a checking or savings account, maintaining a consistent balance. Appling for department store credit cards like JC Penny, Sears, and Kohl’s is a great way to start....   [tags: credit card reporting angency, limits]

Powerful Essays
1671 words (4.8 pages)

The Hemp Plant´s History Essay

- In this argument I will talk about the hemp plants’ history in our country and the world, its uses, what it could do for the world and its future in our country. Hemp is the male cannabis plant very different from the female cannabis plant, more known as “marijuana”. These plants don’t just have very different society renowned uses from each other, they are genetically different, have a different chemical makeup, and differ in cultivation. The cannabis plant has been used all over the world for its fiber and medical properties for an estimated 10,000 years and is believed to be one of the first plants cultivated....   [tags: cannabis, marijuana, medicine]

Powerful Essays
982 words (2.8 pages)

History of Coach, Inc. The Coach Brand Essay examples

- History of Coach, Inc. The Coach Company first started in 1941. The staff consisted of six people who worked to make a leather collection of handmade wallets and billfolds in Manhattan. The techniques these six people used were passed down from previous generations. Patrons started to look to Coach “for their high-quality and unique craftsmanship.” (Coach, Inc. History) Miles Cahn worked for the Coach Company and was later promoted and ran the company in 1950. The company was known for making quality products rather than being in the business of maximizing profits....   [tags: business analysis, financial statuts]

Powerful Essays
1472 words (4.2 pages)

Jeans And The American Culture Essay

- Jeans: A Garment that has Endured in Fashion Blue jeans have been part of the American culture for over 100 years. Why is it that this piece of clothing has not lost its trend from the moment it got here. Well, we can begin by acknowledging that jeans were made for labor. The majority of Americans are working-class people and this piece of clothing symbolizes this group of people. Additionally, in the mid-twentieth century the youth wore them as a symbol of protest against conformity. This being said, it lies in a revolutionary era in American history....   [tags: Jeans, Denim, Levi Strauss, Trousers]

Powerful Essays
2263 words (6.5 pages)

Change In The Growth Of American Corporations Essay

- Change in the Growth of American Corporations Technological change and organizational change both played integral parts in the growth of large American industrial corporations in the late nineteenth century. I don't believe that you can truly choose one or the other to be more important then the other because they are so directly related to each other, as one expanded the other would change. As technology improved you saw restructuring of management and planning, yet you also saw technology being forced to advance by the industries change in planning and restructuring....   [tags: Business]

Free Essays
1209 words (3.5 pages)