2011 – Department Stores Ratings

Posted by Canstar Blue October 31st 2011

You are viewing the archived 2011 ratings for department stores. Go to the current discount department store ratings.

See Our Ratings Methodology.

Australians are willing to pay extra to keep the shopping industry alive

With the online shopping industry currently booming, some shoppers are committed to helping brick and mortar stores by supporting a ‘try on’ charge.

This initiative would involve a small fee to try on clothes in a department store – a fee which would be refunded at the point of sale. If the customer did not buy the clothes, then the store would keep this deposit.

This small fee would help the industry get back on their feet, and a quarter of respondents to our latest survey support the charge. Male respondents in particular are in greater support of this charge (31%) compared to female shoppers (only 20%).

One of the difficulties of shopping is figuring out which department store will best suit your needs; but luckily we’ve narrowed down the search for Aussie shoppers. Kmart received our most satisfied customers award for department stores amongst veteran brands Big W, Target, David Jones and Myer.

Kmart excelled in several criteria, including five stars for price, product range, online store/catalogue and specials. Other five star winners include David Jones (for brand range and customer service), Big W (product range and online store/catalogue) and Target (online store/catalogue).

Our survey also shows that the online shopping industry may not have as big a hold on Aussie shoppers as they think. Seventy percent of survey respondents spend more of their disposable income in department stores than online shopping.

That said, Aussie shoppers expect department stores to compete with online retailers on price, with nearly four in five respondents feeling they deserve discounted prices for shopping in person.

Canstar Blue commissions Colmar Brunton to survey 2,500 Australian consumers across a range of categories every few months to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from department store customers within the survey group – in this case, 2,278 people. To qualify, the customer must have made a purchase from a department store in the last 12 months. Brands must receive at least 30 responses to be included.

Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands that received three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10.

Overall satisfaction

Kmart has come out ahead with five stars for overall satisfaction. Big W, Target and David Jones received four stars for this criteria, while Myer received three.


Kmart scored another five stars for their pricing, while Big W and Target followed with four stars each. David Jones and Myer, famous for their more upmarket appearance, received three stars for price.


Kmart and David Jones both received four stars for their customer service and advice, while Big W, Target and Myer received three stars.

Brand range

David Jones received five stars for their brand range, followed by Big W and Myer with four stars each. Target and Kmart both received three stars.

Product range

Kmart and Big W tied for five star honours for product range. Target, David Jones and Myer all received four stars for their range of products.

Online store/catalogue

With the online shopping industry growing more competitive, most brands have really amped up their online presence, with Big W, Kmart and Target all receiving five stars for their online shopping capability (as well as their catalogue). Myer came out with three stars for their online store while David Jones received two stars.


There’s something special about Kmart, winning another five stars for this criteria. Big W and Target both received four stars for their specials, while David Jones and Myer received three.