Publicly Traded U.S. Retail Department Stores List

Publicly Traded US Retail Department Stores and Stock Exchange Symbols
© Barbara Farfan for About.com

Department stores are defined as brick-and-mortar retail stores which sell a variety of merchandise which is organized into distinct departments such as menswear, women's wear, furniture, cosmetics, and so on. In the U.S. retail industry, most of the largest multi-unit department store companies are not privately owned but are publicly traded on the U.S. stock exchange. 

If you look at a complete list of publicly traded US retail department stores (and their stock exchange symbols) you'll notice that there are a number of retail department store chains which are not included on the list.

Retail Stores That Aren't on the List, and Why

Walmart, Dollar Tree, Fred's, and Dollar General all carry a variety of merchandise that is organized by category and housed in different departments within their stores. However, these department stores are defined primarily as Discount Stores and therefore are not included in the following list of Publicly Traded Department Stores.  

Costco, Sam's, and BJ's are also department stores by definition but are primarily warehouse membership stores. Therefore, these retail department stores are also not included in on this Publicly Traded Retail Department Stores list.  

What Dictates a Chain's HQ Location?

It is worth noting that the largest U.S. department store chains are almost all headquartered in different states. This has nothing to do with the retail industry and everything to do with climate and income. Residents in Florida are out shopping for shorts and sandals, which is not the case in Ohio.

Residents in Palm Springs are out shopping for designer evening gowns, which is not the case in laid-black Arkansas. Given that the consumer preferences in different geographic regions of the U.S. are distinct, the diverse roots of the publicly traded U.S. department stores is a representation of the richly diverse history of the U.S. retailing in general.

What follows is a complete list of publicly traded U.S. retail industry department stores and their stock exchange symbols. This list is arranged alphabetically according to the company name.  Click the links for more research resources about each department store company.

Publicly Traded US Retail Department Stores and Stock Exchange Symbols

Belk (Class B) Department Stores
Stock Exchange Symbol: BLKIB
Belk and Other Retail Headquarters in North Carolina

Cost Plus, Inc. Department Stores
Stock Exchange Symbol: CPWM
Cost Plus and Other Retail Headquarters in California

Dillard's, Inc.  Department Stores
Stock Exchange Symbol: DDS
Dillard's and Other Retail Headquarters in Arkansas

JCPenney Company, Inc.  Department Stores
Stock Exchange Symbol: JCP
JCPenney and Other Retail Headquarters in Texas

Kohl's Corporation  Department Stores
Stock Exchange Symbol: KSS
Kohl's and Other Retail Headquarters in Wisconsin

Macy's, Inc.  Department Stores
Stock Exchange Symbol: M
Macy's and Other Retail Headquarters in Ohio

Marks and Spencer Group p.l.c. Department Stores
Stock Exchange Symbol: MKS.L
Marks and Spencer Group Headquarters in London, UK

Nordstrom  Department Stores
Stock Exchange Symbol: JWN
Nordstrom and Other Retail Headquarters in Washington

Ross Stores  Department Stores
Stock Exchange Symbol: ROST
Ross Stores Headquarters in California

Saks Incorporated  Department Stores
Stock Exchange Symbol: SKS
Saks and Other Retail Headquarters in New York

Sears Holdings Corporation Department Stores
Stock Exchange Symbol: SHLD
Sears Holdings and Other Retail Headquarters in Illinois

The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. Department Stores
Stock Exchange Symbol: BONT
Bon-Ton and Other Retail Headquarters in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin

The TJX Companies, Inc. Department Stores
Stock Exchange Symbol: TJX
TJX and Other Retail Headquarters in Massachusetts