Department Stores Industry Overview

  • SIC Code5311
  • NAICS Code452111

Industry Excerpt

Companies in this industry operate physical retail establishments that sell items such as clothing, cosmetics, footwear, and home furnishings, typically from registers within individual departments. Major companies include Dillard's, JCPenney, Macy's, and Sears (all based in the US), as well as Hudson's Bay Co. (Canada), Debenhams and Marks & Spencer (UK), El Corte Ingles (Spain), Galeria Kaufhof (Germany), Galeries Lafayette (France), and Isetan Mitsukoshi (Japan).

Competitive Landscape

Consumer spending and fashion trends drive demand. The profitability of individual companies depends on effective merchandising and marketing and high customer traffic. Large companies have economies of scale in purchasing, distribution, and marketing. Small companies can compete effectively by offering unique merchandise, providing superior customer service, or delivering a distinctive store experience.

Products, Ops & Technology

Major products sold include apparel (about 55% of sales) and cosmetics, footwear and appliances (10%, 9%, and 5% of sales, respectively). Apparel includes women's, men's, and children's clothing. Cosmetics include makeup, skin care, hair care, and fragrances. Appliances include refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers, and dishwashers. Companies may also sell kitchenware, bedding, towels, and sheets. Services may include gift wrapping, gift registries, delivery, appliance installation, and personal shopping.
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