In recent years, U.S. department store sales have decreased significantly falling by more than sixty billion U.S. dollars between 2007 and 2017. Retail sales of leading department store chains such as Macy's and J.C. Penney have either dropped or stagnated, while Sears, once a giant of American retail, declared bankruptcy and may never recover. The exception to this trend has been Nordstrom, which reported net sales of nearly 15.5 billion dollars in 2018, an increase from approximately 10.5 billion dollars in 2011. However, despite its relatively flat sales, Macy's remains the leading department store retailer in the United States.
Despite the fear among many Americans that e-commerce would be the death of the traditional retail store, the number of retail stores in the U.S. has seen a net increase, with almost 3,000 more stores opened in 2018. However, among department stores this trend was not observed, with recent figures showing that many department stores have closed their doors. In 2017, JC Penney reported 141 store closures, the most of any department store chain that year. Kohl’s, on the other hand, has reported a relatively stable number of stores since 2010, while Nordstrom’s store count has increased steadily since 2013.