Department stores offer a wide variety of goods, beyond food or groceries and are mostly located in the centre of cities and major shopping centres. Specific product ranges are grouped together in one 'space', each with its own manager, buyer, stock, budget and sales targets. More than 1 in every 20 department store employees is a manager!
There are two distinct styles in department stores - those that offer exclusive or upmarket brands and products and those that focus on offering lower prices. Australians spend more than $19 billion a year in more than 1,100 department stores.
Often multi level, these retail businesses will provide at least a minimum of four product areas which could include clothing, furniture, kitchenware, china, glassware and other housewares, textile goods, electrical, electronic and gas appliances, perfumes, cosmetics, toiletries and food goods.
Department retailers aim to provide a positive shopping experience where customers are given personalized service. Almost 6,500 people work in South Australian department stores, about two-thirds as sales assistants.
South Australian department stores turn over $129 million a month.