Death of the department store: don’t just blame the internet, it’s to do with a dwindling middle class

Barneys, the iconic chain of upscale New York department stores established in 1923, has just filed for bankruptcy protection.

Another of America’s great department store brands, Chicago’s Sears (dating from 1925), did the same a year ago.

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Times are tough for department stores all over.

In Britain, Debenhams – whose origins go back to the 18th century – went into administration in April. It has closed about …

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