Department stores in heavy weather. Will it ever be okay?

Big names such as Selfridges, Galeries Lafayette, La Rinascente or De Bijenkorf appeal to the imagination as centres of sumptuous luxury with their tall buildings full of light. But today the shopping streets turn blood red.

 In discussions with international investors and top managers, this book gives a glimpse behind the scenes of a unique sector.

Not just the pandemic…

Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof is preparing major restructuring, possibly closing half of its branches. In mid-April, the British chain Debenhams has asked for a second postponement of payments in one year and wants to close 16 stores. In the US, Neimann Marcus and JC Penney’s have initiated the ‘Chapter 11’ procedure. And that is not only due to the corona crisis: just before the pandemic there was the dramatic bankruptcy of retail icon Barney’s.

Will it ever be okay?

Even in the digital age, these founders of modern retail continue to inspire. The challenges are obviously great, but the opportunities are all the greater, think retail experts Erik Van Heuven and Stefan Van Rompaey. In their book The Future of Department Stores, they outline the changes that department stores are facing and show how retailers can remain relevant to their customers. In discussions with international investors and top managers, they give a glimpse behind the scenes of a unique sector.


About the authors

Stefan Van Rompaey

Chief Editor – RetailDetail

Stefan Van Rompaey is editor in chief of RetailDetail, the leading B2B retail community in the Benelux, which keeps retail professionals up to date with publications, events, inspiration trips, cocreation platform Retailhub and Foster, a unique living retail lab in Antwerp, where consumers and professional visitors can experience the future of shopping.

Erik Van Heuven

CEO – Stoopen & Meeûs

Erik Van Heuven is a travel expert and during his career he was a privileged witness to the enormous changes that took place in the department store industry, as a manager at Galeria Inno (Kaufhof) and Karstadt, among others. Today, he is director and advisor at various companies and CEO at Stoopen & Meeûs, producer and distributor of premium decorative paints.



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