A department store is a retail establishment offering a wide range of consumer goods in different product categories known as “departments”. In modern major cities, the department store made a dramatic appearance in the middle of the 19th century, and permanently reshaped shopping habits, and the definition of service and luxury.

department store

department store

1 (store) directory 8 Women’s Clothing Department 14 Customer Assistance Counter/
2 Jewelry Counter 9 Children’s Clothing Department Customer Service Counter
3 Perfume Counter 10 Housewares Department 15 men’s room
4 escalator 11 Furniture Department/ 16 ladies’ room
5 elevator Home Furnishings Department 17 water fountain
6 Men’s Clothing 12 Household Appliances 18 snack bar
Department Department 19 Gift Wrap Counter
7 customer pickup area 13 Electronics Department

Department stores today have sections that sell the following: clothing, furniture, home appliances, toys, cosmetics, gardening, toiletries, sporting goods, do it yourself, paint, and hardware and additionally select other lines of products such as food, books, jewelry, electronics, stationery, photographic equipment, baby products, and products for pets. Customers check out near the front of the store or, alternatively, at sales counters within each department. Some are part of a retail chain of many stores, while others may be independent retailers. In the 1970s, they came under heavy pressure from discounters. Since 2010, they have come under even heavier pressure from online stores such as Amazon.

Big-box stores, hypermarkets, and discount stores are modern equivalent of historical department stores.

Conversation

A. Excuse me. Where’s the store directory?
B. It’s over there, next to the Jewelry Counter.
A. Thanks.
B. You’re welcome.

A. Excuse me. Do you sell ties?
B. Yes. You can find ties in the Men’s Clothing department/at the… on the first/second/third/fourth floor.
A. Thank you.