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The Supermarkets

Supermarkets have evolved in the 20th and 21st centuries into massive businesses. The original aim of the supermarkets was to supply cut-price food stuffs to its customers, but today the range of goods that are sold is vast and includes all types of products.

With department stores now selling food stuffs that is very little that separates the department stores from some of the largest supermarkets. However, that is too simplistic as the department stores specialize in their own certain areas, while the best food deals are still to be found in the supermarkets.


Supermarkets are renowned for occupying a large floor space. In fact the whole site is large as a result of the huge car park space that is required. The supermarkets rely on low costs to attract customers who will mass purchase. This means that huge quantities of goods pass through the stores each day. There is a constant arrival of huge lorries into the delivery areas delivering fresh produce.

The floor space is divided into different isles for separate products. There is a uniformity between the major supermarkets. So visiting a Sainsbury’s supermarket in Walton-on-Thames is virtually the same as visiting one in Salisbury. People who do their weekly shopping in a supermarket want to do it quickly and like to know where to go to find their favorite items.

The supermarkets grew from larger grocery stores and didn’t appear in the United Kingdom until after the Second World War. Sainsbury’s were one of the first companies to emerge. They had been grocery store since 1847 with over 120 outlets situated around the country. In 1950 they opened one of the country’s first self-service supermarkets                in Croydon and since this date other stores have been created around the country.

Today Sainsbury’s is the second largest supermarket chain in the country after Tesco with 1,415 stores. The competition between the Supermarkets is fierce. The different groups are always trying to supply the cheapest products to entice customers through their doors. The supermarket shopping is one of habit and when a family has a regular store they like to remain with them.

Modern technology has resulted in far greater variety of products being supplied than ever before. Artificial growing conditions has resulted in more of the world’s fruits being supplied and greater advancements in refrigeration has meant that certain products are kept fresher for longer. Also as the ethnic composition of the country has changed so has the range of overseas products that have been sold.

Tesco in Pattaya, Thailand

Tesco are a supermarket that have continually changed and evolved in order to keep attracting its customers. It was the first in the UK to sell petrol and also to introduce 24 hours shopping. It is now the third largest supermarket in the world with stores in 7 different countries. There are now different types of store and Tesco Extra is similar to a hypermarket and sells virtually everything in the Tesco range.

The supermarkets of today are unrecognizable from the grocery stores that many of them emerged from in previous years. The size and range of products available mean that people can do just one shop for the week and not need to visit any other type of store.

The original intention was to produce a store that would supply the goods that could be found in the local butcher, grocer, baker, and other such retail stores. However, they have gone well beyond this and have turned into vast stores that rival the most successful department stores. This has been to the benefit of the customers who have been rewarded with low prices and great varieties of product.

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