A friend posted this article on Facebook, -"Saturdays at the Store" SOUTHERN LIVING (read article), and it touched me, because although not a southerner, the South has been my home for over 35 years.
Additionally, Rich's and Belk were among Quadras's first clients, and I recall Sara and I smoking cigarettes, (yes, for real!), while sitting in the office of the Vice President of Marketing for Sakowitz, as she pored through, and complimented our first company portfolio.
It was a different world. And as Macy's, another of QI's earliest and biggest clients, closes 36 stores and eliminates over 2,000 jobs, we have to ask, "are department stores a dying breed?"
When I ask one of my Millennials to write a post on the Southern Living article, this is what she started with: "Crowded stores, the smell of food samples and pretzels, pushy customers, and screaming children. Get in & get out. These are the first five thoughts that come to mind when someone mentions "The Mall". That's why, on one very long car ride, I was so taken aback when my great aunt Frieda began to tell me about how glamorous department stores had once been (in between telling me her rent was also $300.00 a month - yes please!). "Lauren" she told me, "I used to have your Uncle Tom drop me off at Rich's on Saturdays- and boy was that fancy. That was the only place you could go and find a smart outfit. There was so much going on, and everybody who was anybody was there." I honestly thought, "OK, so those were the golden days. That explains why you've held onto the same home decor since then as well."
I asked her to re-write it, but then realized, why should she re-write? This sentiment mirrors the feelings of an entire generation, and I have to admit, that even I feel the same, as much as I would like to have some of those accounts back...
So while department stores lost their lead to discount stores, including TJ Maxx and Marshalls, those discounters are now sliding under ultra cheap fashion chains such as H&M and Zara, and forecasters predict all will lose out to Amazon in the very near future. That, to me, would be very sad, because again, although I admit to being an Amazon Prime customer, and my monthly Amex statement reflects just how easily they have sucked me in, I believe Amazon is simply the warehouse for what the others are pitching, promoting, and selling.
I am going to hold out for reinvention http://fortune.com/2016/01/20/department-stores-reinvention/. I am going to hold out for the experience, because, although today's experience will be different, that is what wax nostalgia in the Southern Living article, as well as for Aunt Frieda.