Guide to researching the Department Stores Retailing Industry (NAICS 452111)

Your guide to the Department Store industry
Your guide to the Department Store industry


The purpose of this guide is to point business researchers to some key resources when researching the department store retailing industry. While not entirely comprehensive, this guide does list several of the key and highly recommended resources when analyzing the industry and researching the companies in the industry.  I’ve listed the databases and resources below, with recommendations on how to find the best information in the quickest fashion.



IbisWorld is a good place to get started for a good overview of the industry.  A search for department stores yields a report for Department Stores.  IbisWorld also has, under the Business Environment section, a number of economic reports that could be very useful, such Per Capita Disposable Income.

First Research

First Research also offers broad industry overviews, which compliment the reports from IbisWorld quite nicely.  Simply search for Department Stores.


Passport  some excellent market research reports on retailing in specific countries.

Plunkett Research

Plunkett Research has a section for Retailing, where you can find Market Research and Statistics for the overall retailing market.  This would be a good resource to look at to get a general overview of the market.

Mintel Oxygen

Mintel Oxygen is an excellent source for market research reports pertaining to this industry.  A search for “department store” yields several relevant reports, such as Department Store Retailing.


OneSource is another fantastic resource for both company and industry information.

S&P Net Advantage

S&P NetAdvantage  is a key tool to use when researching this industry.

  • It has a very good report for the “Retailing:  General” Industry, of which department stores is a part.  The industry reports can be very useful in performing a PEST analysis, particularly when addressing the “economic” area.   To find these reports, click on the Industry Tab in NetAvantage, then select the industry in the drop-down menu.  Be sure to look for the “downloadable company data” link on the left side of the page as well.
  • It has stock reports and company financials for major companies.
  • The Compustat Excel Analytics are great when analyzing companies.  This video shows you how to find them.

Hoover’s Online

Hoover’s Online has great company and industry information.

  • Use the Company tab to search for a particular company (J.C. Penney, Dillards, etc) to find company financials, competitors, company news, and more.
  • Use the Industry Tab to search for “department stores” to find some excellent industry reports.  The industry data comes from First Research, which is the same information found via the First Research interface.

Mergent Online

Mergent Online is a great tool for looking at both company and industry information.

Business Source Complete

Business Source Complete has a lot of useful information that can take your research to the next level. I’ve listed here last not because it is the least important, but because I would us articles and reports from Business Source Complete to fill in the gaps of your research.  You will find Industry Profiles (search for Department Stores), and Trade Publications that can enhance the broad coverage of other industry reports.  Look for publications like the “Weekly Chain Store Sales Snapshot“, “Women’s Wear Daily,” and other trade publications for excellent coverage of the companies and industries.


Factiva is a great resource for looking for news about companies in the industry.  You will also find company profiles, financials, ratios, and more in the “Companies & Markets” section of Factiva.  This video shows you how to use Factiva effectively when analyzing your company.

SEC Filings

The 10-k (annual SEC filings) for individual companies contain financial information for companies, as well as textual descriptions of business strategies, risk factors, competition, and more.  Look in Part 1, Item 1 and Item 1A for this information in a company’s 10-K report.  As an example, take a look at the 10-K for J.C. Penney and look at the Business and Risk Factors sections.  You will notice that Home Depot uses some of the similar language found in reports like IBISWorld and others.  You might also look at similar 10-K’s for other companies in the industry.


Statista is great resource to find some extremely useful statistics for you industry.  Simply search for “department stores,” “retail,” or by company or brand  to find stats for your project.





Related Topics: Business Cluster, Class Guides, Industry Guides