Best Department Store (2014)


Clothes, toys, housewares and accessories – who doesn't love a little one-stop shopping? After four weeks of voting, USA TODAY 10Best readers have chosen their top 10 department stores from the original list of nominees.

  • Stein Mart

    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 more than 260 locations from coast to coast, all retailing current season, brand name fashions at discounted prices.
    Photo courtesy of Stein Mart

  • Nordstrom


    The 118 Nordstrom locations across 38 states bring upscale fashions to their customers, but our two shopping experts agree that where the retailer truly shines is in its customer service, which Taryn Scher describes as "the best, bar none." The first Nordstrom opened in Seattle in 1901.
    Photo courtesy of Nordstrom

  • 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 in the nation.
    Photo courtesy of Kohl's

  • Belk


    Opened in 1888 by William Henry Belk and headquartered in Charlotte, Belk operates 301 mid-range to upscale department stores in 16 states across the American South. The family-operated company, with its tag line "“Modern. Southern. Style.” has recently added high end lines more typical of a boutique setting, according to shopping expert Taryn Scher.
    Photo courtesy of Belk

  • Bon-Ton


    With some 270 department stores operating in 25 states – mostly in the northern portion of the U.S. – Bon-Ton retails a wide selection of name brands, like Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Steve Madden and Fossil, as well as exclusive private brand collection. The store began as a millinery and dry goods store in York, Penn. in 1898.
    Photo courtesy of Bon-Ton

  • Macy's


    Macy's, with its 840 stores across 45 states, is 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 Macy's

  • Target


    Founded in 1902 and headquartered in Minneapolis, Target has risen to become the second largest discount retailer in the nation and "everyone's fave for a fun shopping experience" according to our shopping expert Ruta Fox. No matter which of the 1,801 stores you shop at, "you always wind up with a cart full of items you didn't plan on purchasing," says our second shopping expert Taryn Scher. She adds, "Mark your calendar for the designer collaboration launches. They're worth it."
    Photo courtesy of Target

  • JCPenney


    JCPenney, a line of 1,060 mid-range department stores in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, wins the "most improved" award according to our shopping expert Ruta Fox. Based in Plano, Texas, the company sells an assortment of national, private and exclusive brands at a variety of price points, including brand names like Sephora, Liz Claiborne and Elle Macpherson Intimates.
    Photo courtesy of JCPenney

  • Dillard's


    Featuring brands like Betsy Johnson, COACH, Jessica Simpson and Ralph Lauren, Dillard's offers mid-priced, affordable fashions in its 278 locations spanning 29 states. The chain is headquartered in Little Rock with flagships in Dallas and Norfolk, Va.
    Photo courtesy of Dillard's

  • T.J.Maxx


    More than 1000 T.J.Maxx locations around the country have garnered a loyal following of shoppers for their heavily discounted high quality, brand name fashions. New deliveries at each store several times per week make shopping at the department store akin to a fashion "treasure hunt."
    Photo courtesy of Mike Mozart

Stein Mart, a chain of 260 department stores across the US, retails current season, brand name fashions at discounted prices. Such value for money when it comes to department store shopping was a hit with readers, who voted Stein Mart as America's Best Department Store.

USA TODAY 10Best shopping experts agreed that Nordstrom shines with its superb customer service, and readers agreed, voting the Seattle-based department store to the runner up position.

Kohl's, Belk and The Bon-Ton rounded out the top five.

The full list of winners in the 'Best Department Store' contest category for 10Best Readers' Choice is as follows:

  1. Stein Mart
  2. Nordstrom
  3. Kohl's
  4. Belk
  5. Bon-Ton
  6. Macy's
  7. Target
  8. JCPenney
  9. Dillard's
  10. T.J.Maxx

Next time you feel in need of some retail therapy, this list is sure to come in handy.


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AlertThe Experts

Ruta Fox

Ruta Fox

Ruta Fox

Taryn Scher

Taryn Scher

Taryn Scher