How have a lot of companies stayed in business for this long? Easy, by focusing on giving their customers value and service. Plus, treating their employees as valuable assets.
Starting in the 90s more and more companies begin moving from a people oriented style of business to one of pure numbers. Millions of often long term well trained employees were fired as increasing numbers of companies moved their production offshore so as to lower costs. It was also the time when salaries, or net worth, of the top strata of society begin to dramatically distance those of the middle and lower classes. With all of that came a virtual divorce between the top and bottom not only of money but in total life styles.
Dealing specifically with RS, it was a company that had served the communities very well for decades. People recognized the brand and the service they knew existed in the stores. All of this was destroyed with the arrival of former CEO Julian Day and those he brought in. RS suddenly became a number to be manipulated by those who have zero retail experience and, even worse, no understanding nor respect for the people who worked in the stores and their customers. The only real human emotion left was one of greed.
RS will not last another year. And it is not alone. The retail environment is full of major changes taking place of which online retailing is only a part of a larger picture. Our entire society is being torn apart by social and economic problems that have been building for several decades. The fact that the firms and their leaders on Wall Street could essentially destroy the financial system for their own gain and not a single one of them even charged with a crime is indicative of how truly serious the situation is. Large business and Washington are dancing to a tune that will bring nothing but further catastrophes. RS is really nothing more at this time than a minor foot note of what went wrong.