From Paris to New York: A cross-cultural comparison of department stores and their ability to create contextual value during a global pandemic, Mia Lupo

In mid-March 2020, the global pandemic of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, caused a global disruption that forced the temporary closures of retailers across the globe. Department stores were already facing a set of challenges, but coronavirus accelerated the trends contributing to the decline of American department stores. This dissertation compares and contrasts how two department stores—Bloomingdale’s in New York, NY in the United States and Galeries Lafayette in Paris, France—approached their social media marketing strategies during the temporary store closures caused by coronavirus. Using pre-existing research on distributed cognitive theory and definitions of value from the consumer perspective, this dissertation analyzes each department store’s activities through a new contextual value framework that brands can use to understand how they can deliver value to their consumers, therefore better positioning themselves within their consumer’s context.

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