Abstract There is a wide debate over whether China's department stores should be joint-operation or self-operation. Based on the definition of relevant concept, this article develops the analytical framework. On the basis, it analyses their advantages and disadvantages, studies their evolutionary track and existence conditions, and points out there is a development trend of coexistence of the two ways. Finally, this article provides the suppliers and department stores with coping strategy under the joint-operation mode. The main points of this article are as follows: self-operation and joint-operation both have advantages and disadvantages, the dominant power of choosing the operation mode is from big brand suppliers instead of department stores. Therefore, a large proportion of department stores will under joint-operation for a long time, and the government needs not to take coercive measures to force them to be self-operation. Both joint-operation and self-operation need to wait for the right time. Surely, suppliers and department stores both need to adapt to joint-operation and adjust their relationship. The core is still being in the customers' place and providing them with satisfactory products and services.
Keywords Department stores, Mode of operation, Joint-operation, Self -operation, Introduce manufacturers into stores, Rent out counters
(Source: LI Fei, Chinese Retail Research, 2010(1))