It is a large-sized store with many separate departments of products under one roof and ownership. They are large-scale stores keeping a large variety of goods.
Any store which fulfils the following conditions falls under the category of department store.
1. It is a retailing outlet.
2. Its sales volume is very large.
3. It has different departments each of which contains a single item in various varieties, qualities, and brands.
4. These stores are located in big shopping centers.
5. They offer free services.
6. The department store operates under a centralized ownership.
The store maintains separate departments of different products. Shoes, crockery, toys, ready-made garments, perfumery, books, stationery, jewelry, all have separate departments. Other common items dealt in are furniture, medicine, canned food, watches, DVDs, TVs, refrigerators, ACs, etc.
Organization of Department Store
The activities of the department store are divided into two parts.
1. Merchandising functions
2. Non-merchandising functions
To perform these functions separately four divisions or departments are set up which are as follows:
1. Merchandise Department:
Its functions include buying for various departments, providing selling aid and advice, and controlling merchandise inventory. It is headed by a general manager.
2. Control Department
It is responsible for functions of accounting, auditing, and finance. It conducts credit customer research, grants them credit, maintains their records, and is responsible for recovery.
3. Advertising Department:
This division runs advertising campaign, carries out publicity, and adopts other promotional means. Its head is advertising manager. Its chief objective is to popularize the name and establish goodwill of the store.
4. Store Department
It is the duty of store department to maintain merchandise record. It keeps a complete record of the present, inventory. It receives requisitions from various departments and fulfils their needs. The store keeps a varying minimum level of inventories of different items and as soon as the stock goes down that minimum level it replenishes the item. The department has to maintain a well established coordination with the purchase division and other selling departments. Customer service and personnel affairs fall under the purview of this division.