Grant McCracken writes a lengthy piece that looks at how in the past the rise in branding helped speciality stores compete against department stores - but now the ability to change quickly and adapt to trends has helped an upswing in the popularity of the department store

Grant McCracken writes a lengthy piece that looks at how in the past the rise in branding helped speciality stores compete against department stores – but now the ability to change quickly and adapt to trends has helped an upswing in the popularity of the department store.

We can chart the decline of the department store against the rise of the national brand. As branding got better, and marketers became more skilled, the department store became more punishing. It was so uninviting, so unorganized, and so aesthetically unforgiving, even the best brands began to wilt.

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