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Department stores are facing an existential crisis

There’s a line in Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises that Patagonia co-founder Vincent Stanley often quotes in interviews. In it, one character asks another, “Mike, how did you go bankrupt?” The character Mike replies, “Two ways. Slowly, then suddenly.” It’s a good line because it has the ring of truth to it. If you don’t keep up with the pace of change in retail, you might survive for a while, but ultimately, there is a point when the distance to catch up becomes too great, a