Stein Mart Once Again Named Best Department Store

Nordstrom, Belk, Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord and Taylor also winners

The holidays are upon us, and many an American will be heading out in the coming weeks to cross items off that holiday shopping list. The holidays are a busy time for just about everyone, and department stores – retailers that carry a wide variety of products – can help save time by offering one-stop-shopping for clothing, shoes, accessories, home goods and other wish list items.

Target
Founded in 1902 and headquartered in Minneapolis, Target has risen to become one of the largest discount retailers in the nation and "everyone's fave for a fun shopping experience" according to our shopping expert Ruta Fox. At the 1,700-plus stores across the country, shoppers tend to walk away with a cart full of items they didn't know they needed. Designer collaboration launches are an extra treat.  Photo courtesy of Target
Kohl's
Established in Wisconsin in 1962, Kohl's has since expanded to more than 1,160 family-centered department stores across 49 states, all offering good value on a recently increased brand assortment that includes Simply Vera by Vera Wang, Marc Anthony, Lauren Conrad, Juicy Couture and Jennifer Lopez. It's one of the largest department store chains by retail sales and number of locations in the nation. Photo courtesy of Kohl's
Nordstrom Rack
Nordstrom Rack, the upscale retail department store's discount inventory brand, is replete with the latest fashions and high end labels. With the same vendor connections as the full line store, Nordstrom Rack, with 215 locations across the nation, is able to offer similar brands and styles at a fraction of the cost. Photo courtesy of Nordstrom Rack
Macy's
Macy's, with its 870 stores across 45 states (as well as D.C., Guam and Puerto Rico), is one of the largest American department store by retail sales and one of the most iconic, thanks to Miracle on 34th Street and the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. "This store has everything," says our shopping expert Ruta Fox, and with more than 1 million square feet of retail space in its flagship on Broadway and 34th, that's not far from the truth. Photo courtesy of AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews
Neiman Marcus
Neiman Marcus, the luxury department store headquartered in Dallas with 42 locations around the USA, represents "fashion at its most sophisticated" according to our shopping expert Ruta Fox. Photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus
Lord and Taylor
With a flagship location on Fifth Avenue in New York, Lord & Taylor has been offering the latest trends paired with classic styles since they first opened in 1826. Many a notable American designer made their fashion debut in the windows of this department store, including Vera Maxwell, Bonnie Cashin and Claire McCardle. Shoppers can now find Lord & Taylor in more than 50 locations. Photo courtesy of Richard Cadan
Saks Fifth Avenue
Since the first store opened in 1924, Saks Fifth Avenue has offered a fantastic selection of fashion and cosmetics in an elegant, chic setting. The luxury department store chain has since expanded to include 39 stores in 22 states. The shoe department of the New York flagship has its own zip code, 10022-SHOE. Photo courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue
Belk
Opened in 1888 by William Henry Belk and headquartered in Charlotte, Belk operates over 300 mid-range to upscale department stores in 16 states across the American South. The family-operated company, with its tag line "“Modern. Southern. Style.” also carries high end lines more typical of a boutique setting. Photo courtesy of Belk
Nordstrom
The 123 Nordstrom locations across 40 states bring upscale fashions to their customers, but our shopping experts agree that where the retailer truly shines is in its customer service, which has a reputation in the industry as the creme de la creme. The first Nordstrom opened in Seattle in 1901. Photo courtesy of Nordstrom
Stein Mart
Based in Jacksonville, Fla. Stein Mart was opened in 1908 by Sam Stein, the grandfather of the current chairman. Today, shoppers will find 278 locations from coast to coast, all retailing current season, brand name fashions at discounted prices. Photo courtesy of Stein Mart

We asked a panel of shopping gurus to nominate their favorite department stores in the nation, and for the past four weeks, our readers have been voting for their favorites.

The top 10 winners in the category Best Department Store are as follows:

  1. Stein Mart
  2. Nordstrom
  3. Belk
  4. Saks Fifth Avenue
  5. Lord and Taylor
  6. Neiman Marcus
  7. Macy's
  8. Nordstrom Rack
  9. Kohl's
  10. Target

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Claire Endean-Cance (Luxury Travel Diary)Ruta Fox and Stacie Standifer were chosen based on their shopping know-how.

Other nominated department stores included Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale's, Dillard's, Henri Bendel, JCPenney, Saks Off 5th, Sears, T.J.Maxx and Urban Outfitters.

Congratulations to all our winners, and remember to keep this list handy as you plan your next shopping outing.