The department store is the personification of capitalism. Many people enjoy just wandering through stores and malls to experience the numerous choices. However, they can be a little overwhelming.
Dreaming of these places reflects a feeling of having choices or even too many choices. It may also be a reminder that you have not been careful with your money of late.
Depending on your status as a potential buyer, being in a mall may reflect your sense of power or competency given the choices you have. If the choices all reflect items you would find in a waking-world store or mall, the items you are most drawn to may be the objects of central meaning in a dream. The salespeople you are bumping into may be significant if they are familiar. Perhaps you feel as though you owe somebody something or someone expects particular actions from you.
Are the items that you want missing or available in abundance? This may be a metaphor of the balance, or lack thereof, in facets of your life.
Are clerks unable to assist you in finding your needs? Perhaps you are looking outside yourself for growth that can only come from within.