Companies in this industry operate physical retail establishments that sell a wide variety of merchandise, including apparel, groceries, household furnishings, and personal care products. Major companies include Kmart, Target, and Wal-Mart (all based in the US), as well as Carrefour and Groupe Auchan (France), Daiso Japan, Lojas Americanas (Brazil), and METRO AG (Germany).
Discount department store sales are strongest in developed parts of the world, including Europe, Japan, and North America. Top emerging markets for discount department stores are China, Brazil, and other regions where middle-class populations are rising.
The US discount department store industry includes about 4,700 stores with combined annual revenue of about $105 billion.
Unlike most traditional department stores, discount department stores typically have a central checkout at the front of the store. Discount department stores may have additional checkout registers within individual departments. Unlike supercenters and warehouse clubs, discount department stores generally do not sell fresh, perishable foods. Some discount retailers, such as Target and Wal-Mart, also operate supercenters or warehouse clubs, which are covered in a separate industry profile.
Population growth and consumer spending drive demand. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient supply chain management, effective merchandising, and competitive pricing. Large companies enjoy advantages in purchasing, distribution, and marketing. The US industry is highly concentrated: the eight largest companies account for nearly 100% of industry revenue.
Discount department stores carry a wide range of merchandise and compete with a diverse set of...