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Pro Analysis

Breakingviews: Department store death spiral enters phase two

Shoppers look at shoes at a Macy's department store in New York.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Shoppers look at shoes at a Macy's department store in New York.

The death loop playing out in department stores is entering a dismal second phase. Declining footfall is taking its toll on sales, with leading U.S. chain Macy's to close 100 shops. But the logical defence – deep discounts to lure shoppers – risks alienating labels like Hugo Boss and Michael Kors. If brands start withdrawing their products, the demise of department stores will accelerate.