The retail tempest, years in the making, appears to start as a zephyr, and not a howling gale (it may unfold like Hemingway’s theory of bankruptcy: gradually, then suddenly). But reports of the impending death of Class C (and Class D) malls may have reached fever pitch, fueled by the 2880 store closures that have already been announced in the first 100 days of 2017. rue21, which accounted for like a quarter of 20yo Elle’s wardrobe, is said to be filing for bankruptcy this month (likely Chapter 11). (In fact, retailers that College Elle frequented are having a very rough 2017.)
Bankruptcies are sad: generally, tons of people lose their jobs. But I can’t say I am surprised that struggling retailers are struggling. I don’t presume to know the intricacies of steering a large apparel company in the fast fashion age, but how many of us has rue21’s marketing pushes reached this decade? That they’ve managed to avoid bankruptcy for as long as they have is the real surprise.
|J. Crew Lightweight Wool Tunic Sweater
(size XXS; past season) || Ann Taylor Silk Ruffle Trench Coat (past
season) || Forever 21 Romantic Lace Midi Skirt (past season) || Burberry Lavenby Medium Reversible Haymarket Check & Leather Tote Bag in Camel (also sold here and here) || Forever 21 Lace-Up Faux Suede Pumps (past season)
Because I hold a morbid fascination with the death of traditional retail, I will read pretty much anything on the topic. Most articles confirm my bias, and often reaffirm my understanding of the underlying issues, but once in a while I’ll read something like this piece from The Atlantic, which doesn’t present any new ideas, and reads as prescriptive (which grates on me). I often share articles that move me, but figure ones that irritate me should also get an occasional mention.