Talk:Big-box store

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Suggested merges[edit]

Currently, Supercenter, Superstore, and Big-box store are all used to describe many of the same stores. I believe that we only need one article and one list. Big-box store is the most generic and most complete of the various articles which is why I think that it should be the article that has the other information merged in. Redirects should all point here. Vegaswikian 00:03, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

I concur. All three are mostly synonymous. --Coolcaesar 01:58, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
When you say "Big-box store is the most generic", are you referring to the term or this article? The Superstore article suggests that the term "Big-box store" itself is non-neutral. Perhaps the final merged article should be renamed to Superstore instead. 68.226.61.4 05:04, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
After reading List of Supercenters some more, it appears that this can be more accurately defined as a list of Hypermarkets; although they are superstores, the term hypermarket implies that they also sell groceries. List of Supercenters should be merged into Hypermarket instead of Big-box store. 68.226.61.4 06:42, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
Hypermart is not a term that I have heard used in the US. Hypermart USA was about an expermential chain so I'm not sure that this is the correct article name either. However knowing about this supports the need to clear this up in some way. Should Hypermarket be added to this discussion? Vegaswikian 07:14, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
I think you meant Hypermarket instead of Hypermart, since the former is a generic term and the latter sounds like an actual chain. I brought up the question "what is the difference between a Hypermarket and a Superstore" on Talk:Hypermarket that might interest you, Vegaswikian. From what I understand, a Superstore can either refer to a Hypermarket or a Category killer. A Hypermarket is a retail store that sells groceries (like SuperTarget) while a Category killer sells only a certain kind of items (like Best Buy or Home Depot). In my opinion, there should be three articles: Superstore, Hypermarket, and Category killer and they should read as if the differences between these three are distinguishable. 68.226.61.4 18:32, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
This is getting more complicated. At this point I'm not sure what the terms should be, just that we need to do some cleanup.

From the free dictionary:

Big-box store is a colloquial term used to describe a style of retail store, and by extension to the company behind the store. Typical characteristics include the following:

  • Floor space several times greater than traditional retailers in the sector, in the U.S. generally more than 50,000 square feet, sometimes approaching 200,000 square feet, though varying by sector and market (in countries where space is at a premium, such as the UK, the relevant numbers are a fraction of that).
  • Free-standing, windowless, rectangular, single story construction, with a high ceiling
  • Expansive open air surface parking lots and general orientation to automobile-driving consumers, as opposed to pedestrians
  • Location in suburban or rural areas, often in proximity to freeways, as opposed to downtown shopping districts

Hypermarket-A very large commercial establishment that is a combination of a department store and a supermarket.

Superstore-A very large retail store that stocks highly diversified merchandise, such as groceries, toys, and camera equipment, or a wide variety of mechandise in a specific product line, such as computers or sporting goods.

Category Killer-Large companies that put less efficient and highly specialized merchants out of business.

Don't know where this leaves us, but the definitions for those are different. I think there is clearly some overlap and with these categories. Vegaswikian 20:22, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
One point that is made in the definition is in the first sentence, the "Big-box store is a colloquial term..." part. A colloquialism is an expression not used in formal speech or writing, according to the free dictionary, and are often primarily used in a limited geographical area. Therefore, I believe Big-box store really shouldn't be getting its own article. As of now, I am interested in reasons why Big-box store should have its own. 68.226.61.4 21:45, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

All superstores are big-box stores, but not all big-box stores are superstores. A superstore is generally understood to be a combination supermarket and discount department store--like Wal-Mart. A big-box store is a much more general term that came about as stores that were typically small tenants in shopping centers or malls (think of little electronics stores or booksellers) increased in size to be closer to the size of department stores. --Captadam 17:06, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

For years, CompUSA called itself the computer superstore (until Best Buy and Fry's Electronics began to develop even bigger stores). See e.g., their company timeline:[1]. Other big-box stores calling themselves superstores include Office Depot and Circuit City. Plus a cursory search of Google brings up tons of hits from business sites like NPD Research and Hoover's which indicate that business analysts are using superstore as synonymous with big-box store. Your definition of superstore is actually a little too narrow, and sounds like what most grocer execs would call a hypermarket. --Coolcaesar 06:29, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
concur with merger idea with surviving name either big box or superstore. big box, while somewhat humorous, is actually the most common usage among the construction industry as well as city planners and retail planners in the USA. either term is colloquial.Anlace 05:10, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Removal of Superstore content[edit]

First, I noticed that User:205.124.100.3 had removed the merge template messages from this article without giving reason. I am restoring these. Second, User:202.40.210.246 had copied and pasted the contents of the Superstore article onto this page without providing reason either. I am removing it because this proposed merger is still being discussed and people are still editing the other article. Leave it out until consensus has been reached, please. 68.226.61.4 03:19, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

WikiProject: Retailing[edit]

Hello, a new WikiProject called Retailing has been created, and we invite anyone who is interested in joining to sign up. If you would like to join it, then list your name on Wikipedia:Wikiproject/List_of_proposed_projects#Retailing. Tuxide 00:35, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Big-box store definition[edit]

Is there a source for the current definition of big-box store? This news article suggests that a big-box store is around 90,000 square feet or greater and has annual company sales exceeding $1 billion USD. However, this also includes stores like regular, smaller Targets (in addition to SuperTargets). I am interested in sources that state that "big-box store" and "superstore" are the same, because now I am believing that it is better to say that a superstore is a type of big-box store, but not all big-box stores are superstores. Tuxide 19:13, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

My impression from the retail in our area (Urban Midwestern U.S.) is that
  • Big Box stores tend to be free standing, as opposed to anchoring a Mall as a mall tenant. They also do not appear in the downtown cores, but must use large greenfield type development with many parking spaces.
  • Big Box stores carry merchandise that does not lend itself to being carried easily between stores on a shopping trip (hence "big box"). This merchandise typically needs to be delivered or immediately loaded into a vehicle.
Thus a Mall Anchor could be a department store (Macy's) or Big Box (merchandise) (Best Buy). A superstore (WalMart or Target or Home Depot) could be considered Big Box both merchandise and building, while a free standing large footprint store might be Big Box in building only (Bed Bath and Beyond, Kohls) Group29 18:47, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
I think this is a good distinction. Paulc206 17:13, 29 March 2007 (UTC) (By the way that's also me concurring at length below -- I'm not trying to stuff the ballots or masquerade, I added the below before I remembered to log in)

As a consumer I've also wondered what sense the term makes. Is it because merchandise is put on shelves while still in its packing box, with the side of the box cut away? Is it cos large items like TVs come in a big box? You can't call it big box because the building frame is like a box. I also agree that superstore and big-box should not be synonymous. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 142.161.171.142 (talk) 06:38, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

I used to be a retail real estate broker. Essentially, those are the guys that provide large chains the local market knowledge they need to make decisions about their real estate acquisitions and dispositions. In that business, retail space is always referred to as a box. It doesnt matter if its a small in-line space in a shopping center, an empty out parcel building, or a megastore, its all called a box. For example, some common things to hear are "What kind of box does Retailer X look for?", or "I've got a 5,OOO square foot vacant box for lease." So It makes sense that large retailers would be called Big Box stores. THey literally need a big box to operate.168.244.164.220 (talk) 17:05, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

Area Specifications section[edit]

The article currently states "They have about 10 to 20 thousand feet in width and about 3,000 feet in length." - this can't be right, as that would make a store 2-4 MILES wide. 10-20 thousand square feet would make more sense, but others have posted on this talk page that 90k+ is more typical. I don't know what the proper dimensions are. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 192.91.171.36 (talk) 19:31, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Requesting complete rewrite[edit]

I am marking this article as {{accuracy}} and {{rewrite}} as a result of a merger from Superstore to Big-box store, because I don't agree with how a big-box store is defined in this article. In its current form, it states that a big-box store and a superstore are synonymous; however they are not. A superstore can be a big-box store, but not all big-box stores are superstores. For example, a regular Wal-Mart or Target is a big-box store because they exceed 75,000 square feet, but they are not superstores. If an article on superstores should not exist (after all, Wikipedia is not a dictionary), then the article on big-box stores should least be accurate and including of a Superstore section. Tuxide 04:25, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

I concur. There are big-box stores which are single-niche, and while they may have more variety than a smaller store in the same niche, that's not always true. In the US, examples include Kids'R'Us (toys), Babys'R'Us (infant and toddler needs), Bed Bath & Beyond, Mervyns (clothing), and more. Kids'R'Us is a very big toy store, and while their selection may be large, no individual item in there would look out of place in a smaller toy store. These 'big box' stores make little attempt to extend to other niches in the way that, to take another US example, *some* Target stores combine 'department store' and 'grocery' in the hypermarket model. Furthermore, not all locations in a given chain may be 'big box' stores, even though they stock the same basic merchandise. We may very well have a term here that means different things in different locales, and I can speak only for US. To me the article currently seems poorly focused and not reflective of the popular understanding here. 216.254.12.245 17:11, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Agree, I added the "expert-subject|PROJECTNAME" template, Probably could use the "cleanup-confusing|May 2007" template too. I am even more confused now. The Terms "big box", hypermarket, supermarket, superstore, all relate to something big in terms of size of the retailing space and also in terms of the goods. There are fine distinctions between those terms in regional usage. There is a cross section of retailers that exemplify the terms and there are crossovers in terms. There are exceptions to the examples of different named retailers in the article. Here are the common features and the fine distinctions:

  • Size - How big is big? Does a certain level disqualify a certain term?
  • Goods - What goods? Does it matter what goods? Niche? Category of goods? Number of different items carried? New/Used? Size of goods? Delivery? On Site Pickup?
  • Location - Urban, Suburban, rural? Does it matter?
  • Architecture - Single level/multilevel?, building style new/old/remodeled?, distinguished/plain?
  • Incorporation - National? International? Local? Does it matter?
  • Competition - Smaller retailers/Larger Retailers? Department Stores? Malls? Boutiques? Online?
  • Pricing/Margins - category killer/volume discount, typical amount spent per visit?
  • Controversy - Good/Bad/Indifferent? Killing the local retailers? "Did you try to buy it in Smalltown first?"

Criticism that is not[edit]

I took out this section : "Proponents point to consumer benefits from greater convenience and lower cost of goods, and the ability of such stores to draw in tax-generating consumers from a wide area." from criticism, as it is not criticism. It is not even a reponse to the criticism given. Silentpat (talk) 15:19, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Merging with hypermarket[edit]

I was not familiar with the term hypermarket, but it's clear from reading the article that if there is to be a merger, it should merge to here, and not vice versa. It even says that a hypermarket is a type of big box store. Mangoe (talk) 12:32, 22 October 2008 (UTC)


Source of the Phrase "Big Box"[edit]

I would like to know why large retail outlets came to be known as "big box" stores. Maybe that could be included in the article. Or maybe it's obvious, just because they ship large amounts in big boxes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.45.11.181 (talk) 23:39, 10 October 2013 (UTC)