Identity Crisis, Part 3: The Two Faces of Sears

In Judann Pollack's AdAge article, "Dear Sears, It's Time To Hang Up Your Toughskins", she reminisces about Sears' halcyon days in the 1970s and suggests that the brand lost its relevance when the "Softer Side of Sears" ad campaign began. (Although she says it began in 1983, it was really 1993.) The "softer side" is … Continue reading Identity Crisis, Part 3: The Two Faces of Sears

Identity Crisis, Part 2: Macy’s Class Struggle

One of the best thing about working at Macy's was its flexibility. I could swap shifts or pick up extras through the internal website. The Handbags department always had open shifts. Fifteen minutes into my first experience there, I learned why. I'll call her Lana. She was the department manager. She was a tall, impeccably … Continue reading Identity Crisis, Part 2: Macy’s Class Struggle

The Department Store Identity Crisis, Part 1

Internet retailers are taking a significant amount of department stores' business, but that's not the whole story. Department stores need to take a hard look at themselves too.

What Makes Cashiers “Associates”

Thing is, store managers do not want their cashiers to stand behind the registers and wait for customers to come. Like everyone else, they want to get the most out of their minimum wage, so cashiers have additional duties which require leaving the register.

What’s The Damage?

It seemed like a good opportunity to tell the story of the department store's decline from a first-hand perspective. The "damage" in the title could refer to these stores' financial damage, but it mostly refers to the customers.