Retail Chains Try Facelifts to Lure Back Customers
Regal independent department stores were once landmarks and the retail bedrock of every American city. Pampered shoppers could sample perfumes, select suits for which tailors would carefully measure them, take the elevator up to Lingerie or Housewares, linger at animated Christmas-window displays, even meet friends for lunch.
Shopping was an adventure.
But toward the end of the 20th Century, discount stores began luring away bargain-hunters, and chic, designer-brand competitors nibbled away at department stores’ high-end customer base. That left them with an unpleasant choice: offer less expensive merchandise, join forces with a rival, or perish.
Over the past decade, a wider threat has further crippled retailers - especially those tied to so-called brick-and-mortar stores in shopping malls. Americans began doing a lot of their buying on the Internet and their hand-held phones, knowing that the selection of goods would be wider and that their purchases would often be shipped to them for free.
“The only reason I would go inside any kind of department store anymore is to return something I ordered online,” one California shopper told The New York Times.
|A crowded Macy’s department store in New York City the week before Christmas 1941.|
So what are department-store chains doing to survive? Many are reviving the old idea that shopping should be glamorous and are remaking their stores. Taking their cue from discount chains, some are offering specialized food and pharmacy items.
Others have adopted a look reminiscent of old-fashioned general stores, with bins of merchandise and booths selling frozen custard or fountain drinks such as New York egg creams.
Now one of the nation’s largest retailers, the J. C. Penney Company, has hired a top Apple computer company executive to give its tired-looking mall stores a suave new look. The idea is to make going shopping pleasurable again - an experience that cannot be duplicated online.
目前，美国最大的零售商之一彭尼公司(J. C. Penney Company)雇佣了苹果电脑公司一名高级行政人员，为视觉厌倦的商场更换新的面孔。目的是让来这里购物的顾客感到愉悦——这种经历在互联网上是难以复制的。
1.regal adj.华丽的, 堂皇的
例句：The regal lady is her mother.
例句：a conspicuous landmark
例句：The tower was once a landmark for ships.
3.linger vi.逗留, 徘徊
例句：The smell of the gas oil lingered in the house.
4.perish vi.丧生; 消亡; 死亡
例句：Hundreds of sheep perished that year because of drought.
例句：The general strike of the railway workers crippled the country's economy.
6.revive vt.vi.恢复, 苏醒, 复活
例句：He revived after a rest and some food.
例句：a glamorous filmstar
9.duplicate vt. 复制
例句：Can you duplicate the key for me?
1.designer-brand competitors nibbled away at department stores' high-end customer base.
例句：Inflation began to nibble away at their savings.
2.The only reason I would go inside any kind of department store anymore is to return something I ordered online.
To do two things at a time is to do neither. 一次做两件事等于未做。
What I would suggest is to start work at once. 我的建议是立刻开始干。
To see is to believe. 百闻不如一见。
To work means to earn a living. 工作就是为了生活。
His wish is to buy a luxurious car in the near future. 他的希望是在不远的将来买一辆豪华轿车。