Difference Between Mall and Department Store

In big cities, we come across many malls, departmental stores, where different products, goods, and services are sold. Mall and departmental stores come under the category of the retailing industry.

Malls and department stores look alike, but there is a difference in size and the type of products their sell.

Mall vs Department Store

The main difference between Mall and Department store is that Malls is large complex joining multiple buildings to sell every product a person needs in one place, Whereas a department store is a small portion in a building or a single-story building where multiple goods of different brands are available.

Mall vs Department Store

Malls are also known as shopping malls, city centers, or town centers in different countries each, operates as a different unit.

Malls have large parking areas, multiple entrances, a convention hall to celebrate birthdays, small get-togethers, and has attractive architecture, decors. Malls are modern retail chains where multiple retailing merchandises take part.

A department store is a single-story building where different categories of goods are separated into departments. Departmental store does not have entertainment areas like malls.

Department stores have different branches in different cities with the same name and services. It can also be housed in a mall.

Comparison Table Between Mall and Department Store

Parameters Of ComparisonMall Department Store    
Size of AreaIt is formed by connecting multiple buildings where multiple department stores are housed.It is a single building or a small portion in a mall where a single product category is sold.
Entertainment areaMalls have an entertainment corner where birthdays and other small celebrations can be done.Departmental stores do not have any entertainment area as the place will be small.
ParkingThere will be a parking area in the malls.There will be no parking area.
LocationMalls are usually located in the city centers.Department stores are located anywhere like general stores.
Targeted consumer groupsMalls are for every age group from children to old people.Department stores target specific consumer groups depending on the merchandise.

What is Mall?

Malls are generally known as shopping malls that are located in the city center targeting every area of people. Malls provide an ambiance experience to the visitors, customers, and merchandise.

It is a place where everything is available for every age group of people. The most important thing in the mall that makes it looks different from other stores is their interior decor and the entrance.

It also has a seating arrangement for tired customers, baby care, restrooms, kids play department, restaurant, gaming section, and many more. Malls have walkways to go from one building to another.

Malls have different departments where merchandise stock and sell their goods. It requires a lot of investment in building a mall.

Malls display special, exclusive, and branded items in one place. It is a modern way to retail goods. It is a large complex attractive facade, displays, and large entrance.

Malls are also arranging the facilities for the party by building a convention hall where birthday parties, get-togethers are organized. Malls and departmental stores provide similar services and goods to customers.

Malls require a lot of investment in maintaining the departments and running smoothly. It is a place of huge employment compared to other retailing stores.

What is Department Store?

Departmental stores are the other type of retail industry. It is also serving customers in the same manner as malls but with limited goods.

Departmental stores have a variety of goods like clothes, furniture, food, and others in one building, making it convenient for customers to buy their needy things.

It stocks and sells general things that are required in daily life. Departmental stores are small compared to malls.

Departmental stores do not have walkways to go from one building to another as it is only a single building store.

Departmental stores do usually do not have parking areas and waiting areas like in malls. Each department in the building targets a specific customer segment.

Some stores are only dedicated to specific age groups. Departmental stores do not have entertainment sections.

It does not have and food courts. It is a simple building with many stores.

The interior or decoration is not given that much importance.

Department stores are located anywhere within the town and cities. It may be a single department or a building with multiple departments in one place.

Departments are housed in malls also, but a department can’t become a mall even it houses multiple departments in one place. It also requires a lot of investments to stock and sells goods.

Some departmental stores also deliver goods and services to homes. Departmental stores have fixed prices and give occasional discounts to attract customers.

Main Differences Between Mall and Department Store

  1. Malls are multiple large-storeyed buildings connected with walkways, whereas a department store is a small portion in a mall or a single-storeyed building.
  2. Malls have multiple departments housed, whereas a department cannot house a mall.
  3. Malls have an entertainment section, food section, celebration section, but department stores do not have such.
  4. Malls targets every consumer segment, but department store targets selected consumer segment.
  5. Malls have a parking area, but department stores do not have one.
Difference Between Mall and Department Store


The retail industry has different formats. It has evolved over the decades.

There are supermarkets, discount department stores, hypermarkets, exclusive stores, specialty stores, and many others apart from Malls and department stores. Malls have different departmental stores where merchandise sells goods. 

Departmental stores and malls stock and then sell goods. They attract customers with the architecture, decor, and discounts on goods.

A single department store may sell goods at a fixed price, while malls have discounts included for spending particular fixed amounts. Malls have an entertainment section that attracts children and elders to visit.


  1. https://www.google.co.in/books/edition/Retail_Management/5tnIDdWLQI0C?hl=en&gbpv=1
  2. https://www.google.co.in/books/edition/Sales_and_Distribution_Management/5EaNDAAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=Buying,+Selling+and+Distribution&printsec=frontcover
Search for "Ask Any Difference" on Google. Rate this post!
[Total: 0]
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️