Don't get me wrong I (generally) don't hate them, it is shopping after all, I am just yet to locate my true calling.
A good department store needs to be like Bloomingdale's in the US (from what I hear in the films natch) - clothes, beauty, food, electricals...blah blah blah and yes interiors! - everything under one roof to cater for all your interiors need ma'am. Maybe that's where I lose department stores really. I guess I much prefer stuffy little random shops, stacked to the brim with odds and sods, that have a gem of interiors-beauty hidden within (I definitely needed the ornamental birdcage).
Working in Knightsbridge gave me a hate for uber-department store Harrods that I didn't realise possible. It has an impressive spread, true, but I have never before seen so many fur coats or felt so many bony elbows in my ribs. They do have a pair comprehensive antique and contemporary furniture sections though, I'll give them that, with brands like the fail-safe Le Cruset - suitably expensive and good quality for Horrids - and cool modern furniture brands like BoConcept and Ligne Roset. Not worth the injuries and dirty looks all the same.
I do have some love for Selfridges and Liberty. The buildings are both hard not to like, but they have a tenancy to feel like Harrods Junior too often...Maybe they could be moved further away from Oxford Street for a start. Then I'd be more tempted.
John Lewis is always the fall back. Solid and dependable, it is like a trusty, cosy, old jumper that you can always rely on. Great for basics, low on glamour. Credit Crunch it ain't quite but you know you get what you are wanting: mugs, duvets, even curtains. No twinkle - close on my perfect...if it wasn't for the beige.
If Habitat was technically a department store I'd be sold. I *heart* Habitat. There I said it. Crush official.