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Grocery Stores & Supermarkets: Origins

Grocery covers a range of commercial and household supplies but is mostly associated with foods and drinks. The term comes from the Anglo-French 'Grosser', meaning someone who buys and sells in quantity. They evolved from general stores which initially just provided the neighborhood with dry goods. Perishables were purchased from butchers, markets and the dairy and the two stores were combined into a one-stop shop. As the majority of the world no longer produces its own food or necessities, most communities, however small, have at least one store selling daily essentials. These can be independently owned and run, or part of a larger, national or international chain. As globalization continues to expand its grasp on the world, big brands become an increasingly common sight. Some stores have a specialization such as organic products, upmarket or discount. They come in many shapes and sizes to suit the local market. The largest are usually called supermarkets and they offer a greater variety of products, such as clothing, food, drinks and electronics. Smaller establishments, known as drug stores may just sell candy, drinks, prepared snacks, and pharmaceuticals. When one plans only to do a little bit of shopping, a basket is handy whilst you walk around, if you are planning on buying a lot more, then it is more appropriate to use a shopping cart– which often have a seat for small children. Many people try and enhance the grocery store experience by trying to find the cheapest deals and collecting coupons. Products are organized onto shelves and aisles in groups such as meat, bakery, produce, and condiments.