Difference Between Mall and Department Store

Although at some point you may have come to believe otherwise, the truth is that a mall and a department store are not the same. Both terms describe different types of businesses, but very often people get confused and think they are the same thing.

If you have any questions about it or want to know a little more about the difference between them, keep reading, because we will explain it to you below.

MALL   Difference Between Mall and Department Store

A mall is a unit made up of one or multiple departments that house different stores. It is also often called a shopping center, and the various divisions are connected by corridors. Also, in a general sense a mall always has a parking area, restaurants and other businesses related to the sale of food.

If we compare the size, a mall is larger than a department store and generally houses several department stores.

(The first mall had its origin in La Marché des Enfants-Rouges in France in 1628).


On the other hand, a department store is an area located in a building or in a mall and that sells a variety of products and goods designed to satisfy the needs of customers and consumers.

Among the products that are sold the most in a department store are: clothing, furniture, tools for the home, appliances, books, jewelry; among others. In some cases, department stores may specialize in selling particular products such as clothing or jewelry (Macy’s) or offering a whole mix of products (Walmart).

Finally, department stores are often chain stores located in different parts of the world.

(The first department store originated at Bennett’s of Iron gate in Derby, UK in 1734).

Key differences 

  • Department stores are enclosures where you can buy different objects, while a mall can include different buildings connected by aisles.
  • A mall is bigger than a department store.
  • Department stores form chains, while malls do not.

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