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Business Model Design and Learning by Barbara Spencer

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The Rise (and Fall) of Department Stores and J.C. Penney in Particular

When they emerged in the late 1800s, department stores had ­everything from restaurants and tea rooms, to art galleries, live music, and ­fashion shows.8 The original competitors, such as Macy’s and Lord & Taylor (New York), Marshall Field (Chicago), and Jordan Marsh (Boston), were located in cities around the country and were dubbed palaces of ­consumption.9 For most of the 20th century, they reigned as centers of commerce and hubs of social activity.10 They were where people shopped for everything from clothing and jewelry, to electronics, home goods, and appliances. According to Lewis:

During this period, much of the U.S. population resided in rural areas, far from these ...

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