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US department stores are killing themselves by not innovating, Harrods chief says

  • Stores like Macy's have struggled to compete with online shopping and the rise of Amazon
  • They have also found it difficult to provide interesting shopping experiences to attract customers to their shops

U.S. department stores have struggled to attract shoppers in recent years because they have failed to introduce new ideas and products, the managing director of Harrods told CNBC Friday.

"I think the American graveyard is really them self-committing suicide," Michael Ward from the world-renowned luxury store told CNBC about decreasing sales in U.S. stores over recent years.

Stores like Macy's have struggled to compete with online shopping and the rise of Amazon. Macy's reported last week another steep sales decline in its quarterly earnings. Other brands such as J.C. Penney, Sears, Nordstrom and Kohl's have also struggled to keep pace with e-retailers.

Another hurdle they have found has been the difficulty of providing interesting shopping experiences that attract people to shop in-store.

"What we have done was just invent new concepts all the time, so the customer always wants to come shopping," Ward told CNBC.

"We have invested tens of millions of pounds and we are just about to embark on another £200 million ($264.8 million) capital investment program," he added, highlighting that it's important to offer "the next thing" for the customer.

Mary Altaffer