The end of the traditional department store?

Department stores need to evolve as the rise of online shopping makes it harder to hold onto shoppers, says one retail expert.

Plexure Group chief executive Craig Herbison believes the continued adoption of online shopping will put margins and foot traffic under pressure for traditional retailers, with department stores forced to change their formats.

"Traditional department stores seem to be under pressure," Herbison said.

"The pressure of online retailing is seeing the big department stores needing to find new price points to combat online retail and keep shoppers in store."

American department store Macy's announced last year it would be morphing into a discount store - tripling the number of stores that offer its discount concept, to 145 locations across the US this year.

Herbison said Macy's changing the way it operated could signal what's to come for the sector.

"With Macy's announcing their intention to move into a discount format, you have to wonder if the demise of department stores in their current format is looming."

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