with contributions from Elizabeth Doupnik
 on October 19, 2017

Although the upcoming holiday season is poised to show better sales than prior years, second-tier department and chain stores, as well as some specialty apparel players, are seen by analysts as facing an uphill battle as shoppers continue to shift dollars to other segments and spend more money online.

The outlook reiterates the need to have a buttoned-up omnichannel strategy that leverages consumer data and preferences — especially online — while also reprioritizing physical stores. Looming on the horizon is Amazon, which is projected by FTI Consulting to garner half of all U.S. online sales in the next decade, which would total $500 billion. And Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. have reemerged as fierce competitors to traditional department store retailing as each are bolstering their supply chains and online capabilities.

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