It is a store owned by a retailer organization which features products of a wide range. These products are usually categorized as per their types, and sometimes departmental stores are based on the type of product itself. For example, a departmental store may feature food items, clothing, stationery, cosmetics, etc.; or it may feature a variety of only one of these items but multiple brands of it.
The concept was introduced so that consumers could purchase all of their necessary products from one destination instead of having to go to multiple stores. Departmental stores can be an individual entity, or it can be a part of a business chain such as Walmart. Let us look into the various features and types of departmental stores that exist.
Features of Departmental Store
These are some of the common features shared by departmental stores of different types and sizes.
The term ‘larger’ is used in the context that it is larger than an individual grocery or clothing store. A departmental store is made up of multiple sections and thus their size usually overrides that of any other type of stores. Departmental stores can be part of even bigger establishments such as a shopping mall. Departmental stores owned by large business chains are usually bigger than standalone ones.
Usually Located Centrally
The usual location for a departmental store is the centre of a city. If the city is a large one such as New York, it is bound to have multiple departmental stores. In such cases the stores are located in the central area of each part of the city. This provides access to the most number of consumers living in the area.
A departmental store provides an end to end shopping service; that is, it can be used as a means for buying all types of goods. So, from clothing to groceries, electronic goods to toys, a large range of products are found in it. And these products are separated by departments so that the consumer can easily locate the products that they want to purchase.
Wide Range of Offerings
As mentioned before, a departmental store is most likely to feature multiple types of goods on sale. It is meant to serve as a wholesome shopping experience. So, multiple brands of a single product will also be found in a departmental store. This ensures that consumers who cater to specific brands will find them all under one roof.
Although a departmental store features a wide number of departments carrying multiple brands, they are all managed by one single organization or person. This central management takes care of supply, supervision, accounts, communication, and advertising for the departmental store.
High Operational Cost
Running a departmental store is a much costlier affair than running a single product-based store. The rent is usually higher and other costs incurred are advertising, constant upgradation of facilities, and of course a much larger supply chain.
Extensive Use of Advertisement
From outside the store decorations to billboard-based advertising, a departmental store tries to advertise itself to consumers in multiple ways. Many departmental stores also provide holiday-based discounts and other promotional offers to attract customers.
Opening a departmental store is usually a large investment on part of the owner. From setting up the infrastructure to initial advertising, the total cost incurred while opening a departmental store is larger than establishing a single product type store.
Types of Departmental Stores
These are some of the primary types of departmental stores that can be found in a city.
Discount department stores are usually retailer chains such as Walmart that feature products at a lower price than the market price. They provide a large range of sections and discounts on buying a bulk quantity of goods.
Off Price Stores
These are departmental stores usually owned by a product brand or a conglomerate of product brands. In these stores, a consumer gains access to discounted products of a particular brand as they are buying directly from the manufacturer. Other features of such stores are end of season products, overproduced products, etc.
These are smaller departmental stores owned by a single manufacturer brand that feature products of only that brand. They hold a larger range of items of that particular brand than other departmental stores. For example, a Nike outlet store will feature more variants of Nike products than a regular departmental store that also features Nike products. Further discounts can be availed at such stores.
Junior Departmental Stores
These are departmental stores that are smaller in size and only feature products of a high price range that cannot be found in regular stores. In these stores the different departments usually operate on their own and have their independent checkout operative. However, it is still owned by a single organization and management.
Category Specific Stores
A good example of such a departmental store would be ‘ToysRus’, a toy and children product-specific departmental store. Such stores are based on a large category of items such as food and groceries, or baby needs, etc. All products related to that category can be found in the store but no other categories.
These are some of the largest departmental stores that double as warehouse for the various brands. They usually store products in bulk quantities and also sell them in a similar manner. These departmental stores operate in slightly different manners such as providing member-only stores, etc. Costco Wholesale is an example of a warehouse type of departmental store.
The concept of departmental stores has developed over time and has taken on various shapes. The way in which these stores operate has also expanded to include technological innovations. For example, the new range of self-checkout departmental stores provides the ability to have an artificial intelligence-based checkout options that reduce the number of employees. you can found Departmental stores in every city and town across the world in various sizes.
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