Supermarkets can be broadly defined as self-service grocery stores offering a range of food and household goods that are organized and displayed according to product category. While supermarkets differ widely in floor size and product selection, they are historically differentiated from “traditional” counter-service grocery stores. They are differentiated also from the more recently developed retail forms of hypermarkets and superstores. Whereas retail theory works with specific definitions of supermarkets, hypermarkets, and superstores based largely on shop size and stock, there is in practice a continuum between these retail forms, and in everyday discourse supermarket remains the generic term.

Although now the dominant form of grocery and household goods retailing in Western and other affluent nations (and increasingly evident in developing economies), supermarkets are a relatively recent ...

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