If you'd told me back in 1984 that in 2017 we'd be talking about the collapse of Macy's in particular and department stores in general, I'd have been shocked.
I really didn't expect them to last this long.
As a young reporter enjoying an income noticeably above minimum wage for the first time, I finally had enough money to indulge my love of clothes -- not designer duds, but the mid-priced garments stocked by stores like Macy's. But since I was working every day and traveling to visit my long-distance boyfriend (now husband) most weekends, I had little time to shop, especially in big stores.
Generalizing from my own experience, I concluded that with women entering the labor force in ever-increasing numbers, the days of leisurely housewives roaming department-store aisles were surely over. People would want to shop in small stores with focused inventories, where they could find what they wanted on a quick lunch break, or, like me, they'd order from catalogues.