Best Department Stores

Compare popular department stores including David Jones, Kmart, Big W, Harris Scarfe, Target and Myer on their customer service, store layout & website usability, deals available, comparative prices, product range and overall satisfaction.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Best department stores 2021

Most Satisfied Customers | David Jones

David Jones topped Canstar Blue’s first-ever department stores review, rating best for customer service, product range, store layout and overall satisfaction.

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David Jones bags the title of best-rated department store

Whether you prefer shopping for cheap and cheerful everyday essentials or want to score deals on big-name brands − department stores always seem to be a go-to. In fact, nearly a third of people we surveyed (28%) typically visit the same department store with price and convenience always front of mind. Conversely, Aussies now have more choice than ever when it comes to where they can spend their hard-earned cash because brick-and-mortar shops are forced to compete with online stores for retail spending. Competition tends to drive prices down, which is good news for us shoppers! If you’re still unsure where to head for your next shopping trip, we’re here to offer some guidance.

Canstar Blue has surveyed more than 2,100 Australian consumers who’ve shopped from a department store in the last 12 months for their feedback on their experiences – good or bad. Respondents were asked to rate department stores/chains on important factors like customer service, store layout & website usability, deals available, comparative prices, product range and overall satisfaction. Those that received the minimum required survey sample size of 30 responses are featured in our results.

In our inaugural review of department stores, David Jones was a clear winner, beating rival Myer and budget department store chain Kmart for overall satisfaction.

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Best Department Stores

David Jones

Here are the best department stores in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s 2021 review:

  1. David Jones
  2. Kmart
  3. Big W
  4. Harris Scarfe
  5. Target
  6. Myer

Our survey suggests Aussies aren’t impartial to premium shopping. David Jones was rated best for customer service, product range, store layout and overall satisfaction. Meanwhile, Kmart scored five stars for its cheap and cheerful prices, similar to Harris Scarfe which rated best for its deals and specials available as well as website usability, alongside Target.

About the Winner – David Jones

David Jones review

David Jones is one of Australia’s leading and oldest (since 1838) premium retailers, with nearly 50 stores nationwide, including two boutique format stores at Barangaroo Sydney, and James Street Brisbane. David Jones is also online and offers free Click & Collect.

The retailer stocks a wide range of designer and exclusive products spanning several shopping categories including apparel, kids, beauty, homewares, accessories and gifts, just to name a few. David Jones is also a popular shopping destination for bargain hunters, with the retailer frequently slashing prices on big-name brands like Guess, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Nautica and more.

  • David Jones was rated best with five stars for customer service, product range, store layout and overall satisfaction. It got three stars for comparative prices, deals available and website usability.

High-end vs budget department stores

Premium and upmarket department stores are a great one-stop shop for sales on big brands and luxury goods but keep in mind they’re not always the best for consumers looking to score real value. Our survey results certainly show an interesting split between high-end and budget department stores. While David Jones was rated best for overall satisfaction, it scored only three stars for prices compared to other retailers. On the other hand, Kmart came in second place and rated best on price, followed by Big W, Harris Scarfe and Target. Myer was left at the bottom of the ratings with three stars for both overall satisfaction and prices compared to other retailers, suggesting high-end isn’t always the way to go. Wherever you decide to shop, make sure to compare retailers and prices online to score the best deals.

About the author of this page

Megan Birot

This report was written by Canstar Blue’s Home & Lifestyle Content Lead, Megan Birot. She’s an expert on household appliances, health & beauty products, as well as all things grocery and shopping. When she’s not writing up our research-based ratings reports, Megan spends her time helping consumers make better purchase decisions, whether it’s at the supermarket, other retailers, or online, highlighting the best deals and flagging anything you need to be aware of.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Canstar Blue surveyed more than 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased a product from a department store in the last 12 months – in this case, 2,112 people.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

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