Innovations in automation technology are on the rise and retail stores are increasingly using in-store automation to streamline retail shopping. Automation in retail stores is aimed at automating store operations such as container movement, merchandise scanning, inventory checking, retrieving, packaging, and delivering products, and connecting with customers. Automation reduces waiting times, avoids stocking problems, enhances productivity, and increases overall customer experience. For instance, American retailer Lowe’s has installed multi-lingual, autonomous customer assistance robots in 11 locations in San Francisco Bay area. Retailers are also focusing on using self-checkout stands for customers. Walmart has patented a system of self-driving shopping carts.


The Business Research Company expects the global department stores & other general merchandise stores market to grow from $4.5 trillion in 2016 to $5.2 trillion in 2020 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.9%. Western Europe was the largest region in the department stores & other general merchandise stores market in 2016, accounting for $1.4 trillion or 30.4% of the market. This can be attributed to the region’s developed economy, high private investment, and large demand for high-end FMCG products.

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The chart below shows the year-on-year growth of the global department stores & other general merchandise stores market during 2016 – 2020.

111.pngAccording to The Business Research Company’s FMCG Consultant, Girish Kavali, the average square foot space for a superstore is decreasing and retailers are shifting towards small format stores. Small format stores are retail stores with a size of 25,000 sq. ft. or less. Small format stores are easy to set up, less expensive to build and run, allow retailers to extend their reach by opening new stores in underdeveloped areas, and are more lucrative than large format stores. Target opened its first 20,000 sq. ft. store in 2014, and Wal-Mart has 21 Wal-Mart Express stores and 381 neighborhood market stores across the USA. In 2015, small format retail stores outgrew larger format store by almost 400%, thus making up a $1 trillion market. This growth of small format is attributed to demographic shifts, online shopping, and a shift in consumer demands.

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Walmart was the largest in the department stores & other general merchandise stores market in 2016 with net revenues of $482 billion for the financial year 2016. Walmart’s strategy is to invest to differentiate on access, be competitive on assortment and deliver a great experience. Since retail environment is more competitive today with e-commerce, they are planning to invest in e-commerce divisions to increase revenues.

The department stores & other general merchandise stores market comprises of establishments selling a wide variety of products such as  housewares, furniture, consumer electronics, toiletries, toys, greeting cards, plastic wares, hardware, jewelry items, shoes, kitchen appliances, clothes, readymade garments, bakery, music world, gift items, cell phones, home appliances, cooking wares, furniture, sports equipment, frozen food and grocery items. They operate from fixed point-of-sale locations with the equipment and staff capable of retailing a large variety of goods from a single location.

This department stores and department stores & other general merchandise stores industry is further classified as follows –

  • Department Stores
  • Discount Department Stores
  • Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters
  • Other General Merchandise Stores

Department Stores & Other General Merchandise Stores Market Global Briefing 2017 is a detailed report giving a unique insight into this market. The report is priced at $1000 for an individual user. To use across your office the price is $1500 and $2000 if you wish to use across a multinational company.

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