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department storea RETAILER which sells a great variety of products, the term ‘department’ denoting the fact that a typical store will be divided up into a large number of sections each offering a particular kind of merchandise: the food department, the footwear department, the toys and games department, etc. Department stores may be under single-shop ownership or run as a multiple CHAIN STORE business.
Department stores compete mainly by offering customers convenience (‘everything under one roof), personal service and good quality products rather than on the basis of SELF SERVICE and cut prices. The larger department stores are able to boost their profitability by obtaining BULK-BUYING discounts from manufacturers as well as by promoting their OWN LABEL BRANDS. See DISTRIBUTION CHANNEL.