YICHANG, CHINA - OCTOBER 19, 2022 - A YONGHUI SUPERSTORES is seen in Yichang, Hubei province, China, Oct 19, 2022. (Photo credit should read CFOTO/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
Are Grocery Stores And Supermarkets The Same Thing?
While some may use the terms "grocery store" and "supermarket" interchangeably, these titles refer to two different types of businesses. The definitive difference between modern supermarkets and grocery stores comes down to two things, according to consumer behavior analyst Jenna Coleman: “scale and specific products."
Grocery stores can be any size, and primarily sell food and beverage items, and while they might have an aisle for paper towels and dish soap, that’s about it. The larger supermarkets, on the other hand, are where you'll find cosmetics, laundry detergent, food, pain relievers, and a new pair of blue jeans all under one roof.
In 1916, Piggly-Wiggly was the first line of stores to have customers shop for items themselves, rather than handing a grocery list to a clerk, who would shop for them. More customer autonomy led to more advertising and strategies to increase profits, such as lower prices and wider selections, leading to the modern day supermarket.