Department store statistics

How do Brits feel about one-stop department stores?

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Department stores can provide you the luxury of visiting only one store to cover most of your retail needs. Whether you’re dedicating the weekend to a patio makeover or looking for a dress for that upcoming wedding, your local department store could be the only shop you need to visit.

Quick facts

  • The leading department store by market share in 2017 was John Lewis (25% share).
  • Meanwhile, Marks & Spencer was voted the UK’s favourite department store (74% positive response rate) in 2019.
  • As of August 2018, department stores completed almost a fifth (18%) of their sales via the Internet.
  • During the year leading to August 2018, department store Internet sales increased by 26%.

Department store revenue

The number of sales registered by department stores has seen an increase over the last decade. In 2018, the number of retail sales in department stores reached £35 billion – a 42% increase on the 2005 figure. The greatest amount spent in department stores was in 2016, when the average person spent £540 in the year.

Year Retail sales
2005 £24.4bn
2006 £25.2bn
2007 £26bn
2008 £25.6bn
2009 £25.4bn
2010 £26.6bn
2011 £26.9bn
2012 £28.3bn
2013 £29.6bn
2014 £32bn
2015 £33.5bn
2016 £35.6bn
2017 £34.5bn
2018 £34.6bn

Change to sales value

From 2009 to 2018, the percentage change has increased every year. Over the decade, the average annual increase has been 3.6%. However, the percentage change was lower in 2018, at just 2.4%, so it will be interesting to see how the stores have fared this year.

Year Change in sales value
2008 -2.7%
2009 1.7%
2010 7.3%
2011 3.5%
2012 6.4%
2013 4%
2014 5.7%
2015 4.1%
2016 5%
2017 1.9%
2018 2.4%

The UK’s favourite department stores in 2019

Marks & Spencer, a Britain-based store specialising in high-quality clothing, homewares and food products, was ranked as the UK’s highest-rated department store in a 2019 survey, with a 74% positive rating. Following this, Wilko (sells homewares and household goods) and IKEA (Swedish furniture giant) saw 7 out of 10 people respond positively to them.

Department store Ranking
Marks & Spencer 74%
Wilko 71%
IKEA 71%
John Lewis 67%
B&Q 67%
Wickes 59%
Debenhams 57%
Screwfix 55%
Dunelm 53%
Homebase 51%

A department store in focus: Marks & Spencer

As one of Britain’s best known places to pick up all your food, clothes and homewares in one place, we put together some stats on how Marks & Spencer has fared in 2019.

In 2019

Revenue expected to reach £10.4 billion

91% of this revenue is made from UK stores.

78,597 employees

operating in 57 countries.

Revenue by category

Compartment Revenue
Food £5.9bn
Clothing & home £3.54bn
International- owned £0.53bn
International- franchised £0.41bn
Food is the biggest earner for Marks & Spencer, earning £5.9 billion and making up over half of the total revenue. The next biggest category is clothing and home, while the international stores bring in 9% of revenue.

Number of stores

Region Number of stores
United Kingdom 1,043
International 444

While Marks & Spencer is synonymous in the UK, it isn’t as well known around the globe. This explains why there are 2.3 times the number of stores in the UK alone compared to all 444 international stores.


Office for National Statistics
Marks & Spencer

Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact:

Matt Mckenna
UK communications manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806

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