Department stores continue their trend of downward decline, with the latest news from financial consultants Cowen that Amazon will overtake Macy’s as the top U.S. apparel retailer by 2017. Amazon’s lack of physical overhead costs has allowed it to undercut department stores in the price of its offerings, with accessories like handbags and jewelry doing an especially roaring trade. This comes at a time when apparel sales in the U.S. are slumping, declining 1.5% in June alone as part of a general downward trend beginning last year. Macy’s is not alone, with JCPenney and Kohl’s also reporting worse-than-average sales figures, citing delayed inventory shipments, bad weather, and a decline in the number of tourists as reasons. However, the Commerce Department blames veering priorities of shoppers has a major factor, with millennials choosing to spend their money elsewhere on things such as rent, phone bills and personal services instead.
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