Features of Departmental Stores Part 3

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  • These are generally located at the main commercial centres of the cities and towns, so that, customers from different localities can easily come to buy goods as per their convenience.

  • The size of the stores is very large and divided into many departments or counters.

  • Each department deals with particular type of goods, say, one department sells electronic goods, another sells ready-made garments, a third keeps food items, and so on.

  • The management and control of all departments is centralised.

  • The Departmental Stores allows customers to enjoy shopping. It enables the customers to buy everything under one roof.

  • Facilities such as restaurant, rest rooms, telephone, ATM (Automated Teller Machine), etc. are also made available to customers inside the store.

  • These stores allow the customers to buy goods against a credit card.

  • Customers may also avail of free home delivery facilities from these stores.

Advantages of Departmental Stores

Convenience of Shopping

Since a large variety of goods are sold under one roof, you need not move from one bazaar to another or from one shop to another to buy goods. It saves your time and effort. Also, for the convenience of the customers these stores provide toilet, restaurant, rest room and telephone service and ATM facility inside the store.

Wide Choice of Products

A wide variety of products from different manufacturers are sold in these stores. Thus, a customer has a wide choice of goods from which he/ she can select the best product as needed.

Economies of Large-Scale Purchase and Sale

Departmental stores buy goods on large scale. So, it can bypass wholesalers and gets the goods directly from the manufacturers. This way it enjoys the benefits of discounts from the manufacturers. Again, due to large volume of sale, the cost of operations of business is also low.

Mutual Advertisement

While visiting departmental store customers are often attracted by goods displayed in different departments. Hence, there is a chance that the customers may buy goods other than those they originally had in mind. Thus, each department advertises for other departments.

Efficient Management

Since these stores are organised on a large-scale basis, they normally employ efficient and competent staff to provide best services to the customers. In spite of these advantages, the departmental stores have certain limitation also.

Limitations of Departmental Stores

Heavy Investment

Since departmental stores require large space for storing varieties of goods, huge amount of capital is required to start and manage a departmental store.

Distance from Residential Areas

The departmental stores are normally located in places far from the residential areas. Therefore, customers from far away localities find it inconvenient to buy goods from these stores. Again, to buy goods of daily use, people prefer going to small shop situated in their residential areas.

High Cost of Business Operations

The cost of location (in the form of rent or purchase price of building), decoration of building, employment of large number of employees and provision of various facilities for the convenience of customers increases the operating cost of a departmental store.

High Price

High operating cost and better quality of goods lead to high price being charged for the goods in departmental stores.

Lack of Personal Attention

In departmental stores there is no direct contact between the owner and the customers. It is the employees of the store who interact with customers. The owners directly do not get information about the tastes and preference, likes and dislikes, of their customers.