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Large Department Stores – Part 2

As societies became more industrialized at the start of the 20th century more and people were now able to afford to be able to shop in the department store. However society was producing different levels of wealth, with the upper classes being able to shop regularly at stores like Harvey Nicholls and Harrods, while the lower and middle classes were still looking to shop regularly, but they needed a more affordable alternative.

Debenhams in Bristol

To satisfy these customer’s new types of department stores were opening that offered value for money. Debenhams has been in business since 1778 and today has stores in 178 different locations around the UK. All of the buildings have the same designs with similar departments. This gives regular customers a feel of familiarity regardless of which store they are shopping in. John Lewis is another department store that has a number of outlets in the UK. Opened in 1864 in Oxford Street in London there are now over 50 branches in the UK. The store is slightly aimed at slightly more affluent customers than Debenhams but it is still more affordable than the large London stores.

In the United States a similar pattern has emerged with several department stores having a number of different outlets in different cities. One of the most famous is Macys who first opened in 1858 in New York City. There are over 770 stores in the country and the company has the greatest revenue of any department store chain in in the States. In 2016 its turnover was 26.67 billion US dollars.

Macy’s in New York

Macys Inc also own Bloomingdales. The department store were founded in 1872 and has 38 stores located around the country. It was bought out in 1929 by Federated Department Stores and then in 2006 Federated were bought out by Macys Inc. Macys Inc is now the world’s largest fashion goods retailer.

Kohl’s started as grocery stores but following the Kohl family being bought out of the business in 1986 by a group of investors, the company have looked to sell retail items at cheap prices. The company has expanded massively from the 40 stores it owned in the 1980s to 1100 that are now in operation around the country. In 2016 Kohl’s turned over 19.2 billion US dollars and is constantly looking to both expand the number of stores in operation and also to upgrade older sites. The company now sells a number of its own brands and this accounts for half of its annual turnover.

The largest store from the north-west of the country is the Nordstrom department storm that was first opened in Seattle in 1901. It first started as a shoe store but expanded to include clothes, handbags, jewelry and fragrances. It has 370 sites and also sells its goods from its on-line site. In 2016 the company turned over 13.97 billion US dollars. It has stores in 40 US states and it really is a nationwide store. It has come a long way since the Swedish migrant first started selling shoes at the end of the 19th century.

The role of the department stores around the world has a national theme with many countries having their own stores that dominate their domestic market. By doing so that are able to cater for the individual nuances of each separate nation.

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