supermarket


supermarket
/sooh"peuhr mahr'kit/, n.
1. a large retail market that sells food and other household goods and that is usually operated on a self-service basis.
2. any business or company offering an unusually wide range of goods or services: a financial supermarket that sells stocks, bonds, insurance, and real estate.
[1920-25, Amer.; SUPER- + MARKET]

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Large retail store operated on a self-service basis, selling groceries, produce, meat, bakery and dairy products, and sometimes nonfood goods.

Supermarkets were first established in the U.S. during the 1930s as no-frills retail stores offering low prices. In the 1940s and '50s they became the major food marketing channel in the U.S.; the 1950s also saw them spread through much of Europe. Their growth is part of a trend in developed countries toward reducing cost and simplifying marketing. In the 1960s supermarkets began appearing in developing countries in the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America, where they appealed to individuals who had the necessary buying power and food storage facilities.

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▪ retail store
      large retail store operated on a self-service basis, selling groceries, fresh produce, meat, bakery and dairy products, and sometimes an assortment of nonfood goods. Supermarkets gained acceptance in the United States during the 1930s. The early stores were usually located in reconverted industrial buildings in outlying areas; they had no elaborate display facilities, and their primary advantage was their low prices. During the 1940s and '50s, they became the major food-marketing channel in the United States, and in the 1950s they spread through much of Europe. The extent to which they have succeeded in various countries has depended on the ability or willingness of producers and wholesalers to adapt their operations to large-scale retailing. The spread of supermarkets has been part of a trend in the developed countries toward reducing costs and simplifying the pattern of marketing.

      Many variations on the supermarket began appearing toward the end of the 1900s. Today warehouse stores sell recognized brands at lower prices, often cutting costs by selling groceries directly out of the shipping cartons in a no-frills warehouselike setting. Convenience stores, often attached to a gasoline station, offer snack foods, dairy items, and notions. Wholesale club stores such as Costco or Sam's Club specialize in selling bulk quantities to club members at deeply discounted prices. Club stores usually charge annual membership fees.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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