U.S. Department Stores- Statistics & Facts

Department stores in the United States, such as Macy’s, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, and JC Penney, are large retail establishments that offer a wide range of products in several different departments including but not limited to; apparel, accessories, home goods, electronics, cosmetics, and sporting goods to name a few. They were first established in Britain during the Industrial Revolution and have since become a familiar sight in towns and cities all across the United States. By 2017, over 213 million U.S. consumers had reported shopping at any department store in the last thirty days, an increase from 191 million consumers in 2010.

In recent years, many department store chains appeared to be suffering from diminished revenues and employment. The number of Big-Box and department store employees was projected to decline steadily from 2015 to 2020, and both Macy’s and Sears have reported a decrease in sales several years in a row. The exception to this trend was Nordstrom, which reported net sales of nearly 14.5 billion dollars in 2016, an increase from approximately 14 billion dollars in 2015.

Despite the fear among many Americans that e-commerce will be the death of the traditional retail store, the number of retail stores in the U.S. has seen a net increase, with approximately 4,000 more stores opening in 2017. However, among department stores this trend was not observed, with recent figures showing that many department stores have closed their doors. In 2017, JC Penney reported 138 store closures, the most of any department store chain that year. Kohl’s, on the other hand, had reported a relatively stable number of stores since 2010, while Nordstrom’s store count has increased steadily since 2013.

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Department stores in the U.S. - Important statistics

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