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Difference between Departmental Stores and Multiple Shops

Even though both these types of retail organizations are big establishments, there are a few differences between the two. They are:
  1. Location: A departmental store is situated at a central place, where a huge number of people can be attracted to it. However, the multiple stores are situated at a number of locations for approaching a large number of customers and hence central location is not necessary for a multiple shop.
  2. Range of Products: Departmental store aims to satisfy all the requirements of people under one roof. So they are suppose to carry various products of different types. However, the multiple shops aim to satisfy the needs of the people relating to a limited range of their products only.
  3. Services Offered: The departmental stores give importance on presenting maximum service to their customers. A few facilities, given by them include post office, restaurant and so on. But, the multiple shops provide very a short range facilities confined to guarantees and repairs if the sold out items turn out to be defective.
  4. Pricing: The multiple shop chains sell products at fixed rates and maintain uniform pricing policies for all their stores. The departmental shops, however, do not show uniform price feature for all the departments; rather they have to frequently offer discounts on certain items and varieties to clear their stock.
  5. Class of Customers: The departmental stores cater to the requirements of comparatively high income group of people who care more for the services provided rather than the prices of the item. But multiple shops, on the other hand, cater to various types of consumers, including those belonging to the lower income groups, who are interested in purchasing quality products at reasonable prices.
  6. Credit Facilities: All sales in the multiple shops are made strictly on cash basis but on the contrary, the departmental stores can provide credit facilities to a few of their regular people.
  7. Flexibility: As the departmental stores deal with a large variety of goods, they have certain flexibility in respect of the line of products marketed. But, there is not much scope for flexibility in the chain stores as they deal only in fixed range of products.

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