5 Biggest Department Stores in America


The names of giant US-based department stores are known to many foreigners. Selling a diverse selection of groceries and merchandise, these chains allow customers to save with regular promotions. Here are the five most renowned names in the industry. These spacious outlets are well-known to any American shopper.

1.    Target

The memorable tagline “Expect More. Pay Less” has been associated with the store for over two decades – since 1994! It is estimated that three-quarters of the national population resides within ten miles of a Target outlet. Overall, the chain boasts a presence in all states, as well as the District of Columbia.

What later became Target was once known as the Dayton Dry Goods Company appeared in 1902. The founder George Draper Dayton was a strong believer in “the higher ground of stewardship.” Managed by his children and grandchildren, the corporation gradually transformed into the nationwide giant we know.

The popularity is explained by extensive range, affordable prices and regular discounts. Check out Target weekly ads on rabato.com to learn about current offers in your area. This shopping format dates back to the dawn of the 1960s. Target locations were viewed as mass-market discount stores catering to “value-oriented shoppers” who were looking for “a higher-quality experience”.

Since then, the mission has remained unchanged. The headquarters have never left the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Today, customers are served by over 350,000 employees.

2. Costco

This Issaquah-based chain is among the largest retailers in the world. It includes discount stores classified as warehouse club or wholesale club outlets. The concept is based on buying in bulk and providing discounts in exchange for a paid annual membership. This gives shoppers an opportunity to purchase merchandise with sizeable price reductions.

The year 1976 saw the opening of the very first warehouse club retailer – Price Club. Created by Sol Price, the Price Company later merged with Costco, another retailer only a few years younger. After the big merger of 1993, Price/Costco was born, which was to become Costco Companies, Inc., and finally Costco Wholesale Corporation.

Today, shoppers can buy supermarket goods and other merchandise the range of which is always changing  – on average, a total of 4,000 items. Retail outlets are arranged as warehouses with floor space over 140,000 square feet. There are also subsidiary drug stores and gas stations. Aside from the United States, the corporation serves customers in Mexico, Canada, Europe, and even Australia and the Far East.

3. Walmart

Headquartered in Bentonville, Walmart Inc., (previously Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.) with its chain of discount stores, is among the largest corporations and retailers on the planet. Established by Sam Walton in 1962, it still keeps its import costs down, uses regional warehouses and keeps customers interested in direct mailing and other marketing techniques.

Since the 80s, the chain has had several formats, including Sam’s Club discount warehouses and Wal-Mart Supercenters. By 1990, it had become the biggest retailer nationwide. In 1991, it ventured into international markets.

Today, there are roughly 11,500 locations in 27 countries. Walmart prides itself on being the biggest national onsite green power generator and the fact that three-quarters of store managers started their career as hourly associates.

4. Macy’s

This corporation is much older than the others. What started in mid-19th century as a department store chain had achieved the highest retail sales in the country by 2015. There are over 580 outlets situated in the U.S., Guam, and Puerto Rico. The range of goods is diverse, from clothing and footwear to furniture and housewares.

The most renowned of all Macy’s locations is also one of the largest in the world. This is the gigantic store in Herald Square (NYC) which occupies almost a whole block. Since the early 20s, the city has seen the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Today, over 130,000 people are employed by the corporation. By 2020, the company has had 871 stores in operation.

5. Sears

Born at the end of the 19th century, Chicago-based Sears, Roebuck & Co., specialized in watches. It implemented a mail order, which brought initial success. The company saw its mission in high-quality goods and exceptional service. From catalogs to department stores and big-box locations, and later to insurance and social shopping, the company has been the epitome of advancement and commercial foresight.

In 2005, the company merged with Kmart, forming Sears Holdings Corporation. Its assets were later acquired by Transformco. The corporation is still supplying consumer goods under both brands. These are marketed as quality products at low prices.

In the Sears division, there are department stores, mostly in shopping malls. The outlets sell conventional range, as well as appliances and tools. There are also freestanding hypermarkets, special stores focused on lawn-and-garden services, and appliance repair, and even an Internet booking agency.