Apparel Sales Are Moving Online and Out of Malls, Perhaps for Good
Malls are losing fashion shoppers. To replace them, shopping centers are turning to food and entertainment to draw a crowd of people seeking experiences, not products. But that will do little to help the fashion retailers who call so many malls home. According to a new survey, about 25% of apparel sales have moved online. That number could continue to rise, and it is forcing brick-and-mortar fashion retailers such as Macy’s and JCPenney to rethink the experience they are offering shoppers. JCPenney is in a tight place because of debt, making any attempt at a serious, sweeping turnaround difficult. But Macy’s may still have a shot.
It’s probably too little, too late for J.C. Penney, but Macy’s remains profitable (albeit not by much) and has the cash needed to make major changes. That should start by focusing on giving consumers reasons to visit its stores when they come to the mall for a different reason.