Talk:Department store

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History of the term "Department Store"[edit]

From the article I see that the oldest department stores were likely in the UK, but did people actually call them "department stores" at the time? I always assumed that was an American term since Britons would call Harrods for example a shop, not a "store". I'm unclear what Victorians would have called these things. Business titles tended to just include a proprietorial name eg Selfridges, with no mention of "department store". I always thought the term store came from US general stores, or military stores, but even reading dictionaries I'm unsure of usage over time. Anyone?Gymnophoria (talk) 08:36, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Excellent point. In France the novelty or variety store {"magasin de nouveautés") , which had several different departments, first appeared in 1784, and several more opened in the 1820s and 1830s, but variety stores can't really be compared with modern departments stores. Bon Marché in Paris opened as a variety store in Paris in 1838, but didn't become a real department store (A "Grand Magasin") until Boucicault took it over in 1852 and built a huge new building, on the model of the Marble Palace store in New York City (1848). Bon Marché went from 12 employees in 1838 to almost 1800 by 1877, and from 300 square meters to more than 50,000. Bon Marché became the model for other department stores in Paris and then around the world. I think the article should probably make a distinction between variety stores and department stores. SiefkinDR (talk) 12:23, 27 June 2015 (UTC)


This now defunct department store was one of the first in the U.S. There is already an article on it in Wikipedia [1]. (talk) 01:02, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

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  1. ^