1. Departmental stores are large scale retail establishments having a number of departments organised less than one roof, each department specializing in a particular kind of trade.
2. A departmental store usually provides all the requirements of the customers under one roof. The basic idea is that it is easier to sell more goods to a particular customer by providing a wide variety of goods. It is rather difficult to find a number of customers for one or a few articles.
3. Though departmental stores are categorised as large scale retail establishments, they purchase merchandise directly from the manufacturer (instead of purchasing from the wholesalers).
4. Management, control and sales of departmental stores are departmentalised. In other words, departmental stores have a number of departments and each department has its own manager with considerable freedom to run the department. However, the overall control and management of departmental stores are centralised.
5. Departmental stores are located at important central places of the big cities. Usually, they are established at the heart of the city on busy junctions where a maximum number of people visit frequently.
6. Huge capital is required to establish a departmental store.
7. To attract the customers, departmental stores have to make an extensive use of sales promotion and advertising.
8. Operating expenses of departmental stores are usually very high, mainly, due to the various services rendered by them.
9. Special care is taken to provide amenities and facilities like reading rooms, libraries, children’s play ground, restaurant, banking, post office facilities, telephone booth, beauty clinic, music programme, fashion show, exhibitions, etc.
10. They also render additional services to customers besides selling products. They allow credit facilities, take order on telephones, refund money in case of dissatisfaction, make home deliveries, exchange goods and so on.