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For over 20 years, industry analysts have been forecasting the death of the traditional department store. The causes of the segment's pending demise, according to the experts, include the growing popularity of specialty stores and low-cost retailers, industry consolidation and changing consumer-spending patterns. It has been assumed that these forces would continue to converge until they delivered the inevitable knockout punch to a way of shopping that has endured for 150 years. Accenture's High Performance Business research program shows that while it is difficult to succeed at being a department store business in a mature market signs of life abound in the developing world.
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