Definition: Department store

Distributive trade

A department store is a retail establishment with a large floor space, readily accessible to the public (usually in town centres) and offering under one and the same roof a very broad and relatively deep range of consumer goods (especially household equipment and clothing). Products (and certain services) are sold with the assistance of sales staff spread across a number of departments, each of which functions as a specialised shop. Freedom to select the article of one's choice and assisted self-service are increasingly the norm. Food departments are generally operated on a self-service basis in a supermarket situated within the department store (except for confectionery and delicatessen products, which are sold by sales staff).
Source:
Eurostat, "Retailing in the European Single Market", Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 1993
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