Shopping: Boom time for department stores

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The Independent Online
More and more shoppers are heading for department stores in search of good service and interesting products, according to figures published today.

John Lewis is named as the nation's favourite all-round shopping destination, nudging ahead of last year's league table-topper, Debenhams. Overall, sales in department stores rose 5 per cent last year to reach pounds 7.6bn, according to industry analyst Verdict. The success of department stores is put down to a wider range of brands they offer in comparison to high- street chain stores. Customers - identified as affluent over-35s - also look for high quality service and good price deals. But the report warns that stores which are poorly located outside main shopping centres are being left out of the boom and will be lucky to survive. Too many also need refurbishing, and need to keep up with rising customer expectations, says the report. John Lewis is listed as having a 20.8 per cent share of the department store market followed by Debenhams at 20 per cent, House of Fraser 12 per cent, Co-Operatives 11.5 per cent, Harrods 6.7 per cent, Allders 6.3 per cent and Selfridges 4.6 per cent.