What Are the Major Department Stores of the US: Time to Find Out!

by Business 29 May 2024

Major Department Stores

Over 52 million U.S. citizens rely on the major department stores for daily shopping. 

These department stores comprise the American retail sector. 

This sector recruits 1/3rd of the American employees, too. Hence, the major department stores contribute towards economic turnover as well. 

That’s not all. 

Department stores eliminate intermediaries. 

Most department stores have warehousing functions along with front retail. Therefore, the producers supply the department stores directly.

As a result, major department stores can regulate prices. The major department stores avoid their ‘cuts’ by sparing middlemen. 

Hence, the final product prices go down. 

At the same time, the major department stores offer most products under the same roof. So, you can shop for all your needs in these stores. 

Features Of Major Department Stores

The major department stores in the US has some unique characteristics. That’s why these stores have an exclusive role in the economy. They also influence typical consumer shopping habits.

Let’s look at some of these critical features.

Excellent Services

Excellent services

The major department stores have many connected facilities. 

Alongside shopping pavilions, there are restaurants, restrooms, and other facilities. Hence, the major department stores try to create an immersive experience for you. 

Most upscale customers like this kind of customer. One of the most premium stores in the U.S. is Bergdorf Goodman Inc. 

This iconic department store has a restaurant on its 7th floor. Kelly Wearstler designed this premium restaurant. 

Similarly, other features attract customers. 

There are around 1.06 million retail stores around the U.S. However, the top department stores have a niche customer segment. 

 Centralized Locations

Centralized locations

The top 10 American department stores are present in famous or iconic locations of the country. For instance, the Macy’s Herald Square store demands notice. 

This store is in the heart of the N.Y. city block. It also spreads across a 1.1 million square retail area. 

 Variety Of Products

Variety of products

The small department stores have a limited variety of products. However, the top 10 American department stores have a broad niche of products. 

For instance, Walmart has almost all daily use products that you may need. 

The products include apparel, home furnishings, groceries, bakery items, electronics, toys, and more. 

Types of Department Stores

There are versatile types of department stores. Primarily, you will find all essential categories among the significant department stores. 

Here are some of the critical categories of department stores that we may come across:

 Discount Stores

Discount stores

These stores have a vast inventory of product categories. At the same time, the average product prices at these stores are also much lower. 

To maximize sales, they often give unique bulk purchase discounts, too. 

The top U.S. department stores, such as Walmart and Target, fall into this category.

 Off-price Stores

Off-price stores

These stores have interesting product dynamics. You will get products with discounted brand names during end-of-season sales or similar occasions. At the same time, you will find designer merchandise at these stores. 

The most popular stores in this category are T.J. Maxx, Burlington, and others. 

Outlet Stores

Outlet stores

You will find outlet stores of your favorite brand around. 

Have you visited Nike’s West Coast flagship store? It has posh decor. It also flaunts the broadest range of Nike’s collection. 

At the same time, the store has experiential shopping opportunities for customers across 31000 square feet. 

It is one of the staunchest outlet stores.

Why an outlet store is different from traditional stores?

At a Nike flagship store, you will get all Nike product categories. The display repertoire is as vast as it could get. 

The ‘World of Flight’ store of Nike opened in Philadelphia recently. 

It is a two-story building on 1617 Walnut St. 

 Junior Department Stores

Junior department stores

These stores are different from the traditional department stores as well. You can also include these in the list of the top U.S. department stores.

But how are they different?

They mainly serve the high-end clientele of the U.S. market. 

As a result, the footfall of these stores is also limited. 

For instance, Nordstrom only has 4.5 million active customers. In comparison, Walmart welcomed 255 million customers in the calendar year 2024. 

But why is the difference so apparent?

Nordstrom has premium brands of high price value only. Again, premium customers make up only 40% of the daily spending from the major department stores.

These stores do not compete with the big discount stores. In 2023, Nordstrom generated a revenue of $14.59 B only. 

Hence, stores like Nordstrom or Bloomingdale’s significant competitors are Macy’s, Saks, and Neiman Marcus. 

Stores Guided by Category Niche

These stores are contrary to traditional department stores. In other words, they excel only in an individual product category. Some of the standard product categories of this group of stores are:

  • Clothing
  • Beauty
  • Books
  • High street fashion
  • Exclusive products like DIY furniture and others 

The stores will have an unmatched collection of the specific niche. 

Let’s speak of some real-life examples. 

To begin with, we can speak of Zara. All you can get there is apparel and related accessories. However, you will undoubtedly come across the most comprehensive categories of clothing. Some important types are:

  • T-shirts 
  • Shirts
  • Jeans 
  • Skirts
  • Shorts 
  • Blazers
  • Jackets and others 

Then, we can also speak of H&M. The brand also operates across the same product profile.

However, brands like IKEA deal only with DIY furniture. In the same way, all category-specific department stores specialize in some or the other product categories.

Warehouse Stores

They are mainly like regular department stores. 

You can count the popular warehouse stores among America’s top 10 department stores. 

How are these stores unique?

These stores have broad and eloquent retail space along with huge inventories. 

These inventories make them stand out compared to the other kinds of stores in the U.S. 

Is there any impact of the vast inventories on retail?


They mainly sell products in bulk. They operate on a membership basis. At the same time, you will only get the best bulk purchase discounts from these stores. 

In the U.S., brands like Costco are among the top department stores in usa. Again, Costco is a prime example of a warehouse store. 

Similar other stores in the U.S. are Sam’s Club and B.J.’s Wholesale. 

Do inferior sales and footfall also mark these stores?

That is not the case on most occasions. 

In the financial year ending in 2024, Costco recorded a sale of $58.442B. That’s not much in comparison with Walmart ($648.125B) or Target (105.8 billion U.S. dollars).

List Of the Major Department Stores

List of the major department stores

Based on research, here’s a list of the top 10 department stores in the U.S. These stores are not rated as per revenue or brand popularity. We focused more on store specialization.

Certainly, you cannot compare Zara’s outlet store with Walmart’s flagship outlet in the U.S.

In chronological order, the stores would be:

Maybe you shop from any other major department store that’s not on the list. 

This list addresses the respective stores with the best revenue returns and unique strategies and falls into specific categories in 2024. 


Your search for the major department stores in the U.S. ends here. We know there are over 1 million versatile department stores in the U.S. 

The retail culture and an essential share of the economy rests on the major department stores. 

Before reading the listicle, you must learn about the types of department stores here. I have also listed how major department stores differ from the others in the U.S. 

Experts say that the retail industry of the U.S. is a disruptive market. Therefore, there is ample chance that new market leaders will emerge soon. However, vital aspects like store type, specialization, and popularity will always shape brand awareness in the retail alfresco.

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Ankita Tripathy loves to write about food and the Hallyu Wave in particular. During her free time, she enjoys looking at the sky or reading books while sipping a cup of hot coffee. Her favourite niches are food, music, lifestyle, travel, and Korean Pop music and drama.

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