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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).
Eurostat, "Retailing in the European Single Market", Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 1993