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WikiProject Food and drink / Foodservice (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
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WikiProject Retailing (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
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The images at top of page overlap on narrower screens. Needs fixing.


I have the impression that supermakets location varies from country to country. Here in Brazil, they is located almost entirely inside cities, whereas it seems to me that in other countries (such as US) they are outside city limits (what makes them not that accessible for casual bypassers). Is it true? If so, should it be included in the article? Chester br 02:00, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

In the United States, we have a distinction between high-density inner-city areas and low-density suburbs (most of which are also legally referred to as cities). The majority of supermarkets are located in the suburbs; this is because the people who need to shop at supermarkets the most are families who would prefer to drive there, buy a lot of stuff at once, and take it all home in the trunk of their car. Since land (and thus parking) is expensive in high-density areas, supermarkets traditionally tended to develop more aggressively in low-density areas where land was cheaper.

There is a trend now towards "urban infill" development, because in many metro areas some upper middle class people have become sick and tired of their lengthy commutes from the suburbs. So they move into heavily secured luxury high-rise condo towers next to their workplaces instead. In turn, these people are demanding access to the same conveniences they enjoyed in the suburbs, like spacious supermarkets. Therefore, the big supermarket chains are again opening inner-city stores, and such stores are growing as large as their suburban cousins. --Coolcaesar 04:05, 5 November 2005 (UTC)


Am I alone in thinking of a store smaller than a supermarket when I hear the word grocery. I do not believe the two to be equivalent? The grocery is more of the corner store in my mind. Brooklyn Nellie (Nricardo) 02:58, May 18, 2004 (UTC)

Definatly. A grocery only sells fruit and vegetables and other similar items. i have changed the page accordingly, and also changed a few incorrect spellings. Grunners 23:20, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

Added a bit more history, including Piggly Wiggly and Clarence Saunders, and about Michael Cullen. Earlier stores were grocers - King Kullen is generally recognised as the first supermarket. We probably need to show definitions at some point. Coriolis


In Minnesota, grocery stores are not allowed to sell alcohol higher than a certain level (0.5% ABV without a license or 3.2% ABV with license). Damn blue laws...

  • Do you have a source for this? WhisperToMe (talk) 18:05, 7 July 2010 (UTC)


Costco might not be the best company to mention in the same sentence as Walmart. According to the New York Times, Costco's wages and benefits are some of the highest in the industry; true, they don't have unions either, but in the case of Costco it's because the employees are reportedly compensated so well that there are no real benefits to their joining a union. Not that this is gospel, of course, but I think it's unfair to imply that Costco and Walmart are two of a kind.

I concur. The Wall Street Journal has also repeatedly pointed out that Costco does so well because unlike Wal-Mart, it actually gives its employees decent pay and benefits. They may both be big boxes, but otherwise, Costco is quite different from Wal-Mart. --Coolcaesar 17:04, 14 August 2005 (UTC)
In any event, let reliable sources do the comparisons. WhisperToMe (talk) 18:05, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Worldwide view issue?[edit]

I don't see any problem with this article. What's the problem? -- 23:49, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

I concur. I'm going to take out the worldview notice for now. If someone can justify it, please explain here. --Coolcaesar 06:41, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm putting it back. Like so may other articles in Wikipedia, this has been written by Americans for Americans. There is brief mention of supermarkets in some European countries, but that's about it. As an article giving a global perspective of a subject, it's lamentable. Arcturus 23:01, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, the supermarket is an American invention, after all, like the Internet, the airplane, the telephone, the personal computer, etc. Good luck in finding information on the history of supermarkets outside of the U.S. The problem, of course, is that most countries are much farther behind the United States in terms of posting books and articles online. For example, I was able to find both of the articles currently cited in the article by using Thomson Gale's Infotrac database from home (my public library subscribes, as do most American public libraries). --Coolcaesar 19:49, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Well I agree with Arcturus. It's all America, America, America. Supermarkets are everywhere not just in the United States. And what about Canada? State and local laws? What about States AND Provincial laws? Decimal10 05:46, 27 June 2006 (UTC)love
*Sigh* yet another episode of "Bash America"... If the article contributors are mostly Americans, what do you expect them to put in? Conversely, would you consider them qualified to write about countries they know little about? Don't get me wrong, I too am tired of hearing of nothing but America. So I have a small trick I use to deal with it. I click the "edit" button, and add in stuff to the article pertinant to my own country. Now that was hard. --Jquarry 02:12, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
I concur. A lot of editors need to stop bashing America and start digging up sources on their side of the ocean. If their online databases don't have as many old periodical articles available as American databases, then they need to learn how to use the public library. --Coolcaesar 05:48, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
The comment before the last one by user: Coolcaesar, was obviously about my comment. First of all, I do not "Bash America". Im an American citizen myself and would never do that. Im simply stating that if an American (this does not speak for all Americans) is editing an article that has a worldwide view (or should), they could easily research themselves on those other countries. If im editing an article that has a worldwide view, I do not simply make is biased towards Canada (were I live now) or the United States (were I was born). I do research on those other nations. Obviously if nothing can be found, then not much can be done. So in some aspects Coolcaesar is right that some other nations do not have as much information/history available online as the United States does. Decimal10 05:08, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Disagree. Maybe the Supermarket has been invented in the *USA* (that's not even half of *America*), but now it's everywhere. And yes, the *personal* computer and the *basic* internet are USA inventions. But look at Telephone, or Airplane for example, and actually read the history paragraphs. Many people have tried, and someone eventually succeeded, then someone else filed a patent or was clever at marketing, and the world believes, he is the inventor. How do some people come to the opinion, every major invention has been made by their own countrymen (and why do they sometimes even believe, it was a single person's work)? Here in Germany, our grand parents have been told the same for some 12 years. After that, most of the Nazis have been bombed away. Arrogance is not Patriotism, it's the path to self-destruction. -- Anonymous Troll, 2007-02-21 10:43 MET —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 09:49, 21 February 2007 (UTC).
The cultural bias is actually pretty blatant. I quote: "Certain products (typically staple foods such as bread, milk and sugar) are frequently sold as loss leaders, that is, with negative profit margins.". In parts of Europe it is simply illegal to sell products with negative profit-margins, hence it's nonsense to claim this is universal.

There's a vast amount of information available about recent supermarket trends in other parts of the world. Try searching Tom Reardon in Google Scholar. There's no excuse for this American-centered article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Agricmarketing (talkcontribs) 08:09, 7 March 2009 (UTC) a prominent critic.[edit]

Under Criticisms, it's stated that 'British author Joanna Blythman is a prominent critic of the modern supermarket'. What is her criticism about? Right now that statement is useless. Zr40 (talk) 13:40, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

I have gone ahead and deleted that statement. All I could find about Joanna Blythman are references to books; I couldn't find why she is supposedly critical of modern supermarkets. Zr40 (talk) 12:39, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Strange thing noticed in Sydney[edit]

Just came back from Sydney. I noticed that Australian supermarkets prefer to group the departments requiring personal service (deli, bakery, butcher, seafood, produce, etc.) in a separate mall-like area which one has to walk through to get to the main checkout stands and beyond those, the aisles with packaged goods.

This is a stark difference from the layout seen in most countries, where all departments are along the walls of the main part of the supermarket, and most departments (with the notable exception of a pharmacy) usually do not have separate case registers. Instead, they simply label items with bar codes to be processed through the main checkout stands. Any objections to adding this to the article? --Coolcaesar (talk) 06:23, 2 December 2009 (UTC) -- (talk) 12:11, 9 June 2011 (UTC)telugu text

bad link[edit]

Henry Petroski, Shopping By Design: Supermarkets, like other inventions, didn't just happen; they were designed, developed—and patented., American Scientist Volume: 93 Number: 6 Page: 491 [7].

It costs money to read this article now. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:31, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

About the tag declaring this article is under the jurisdiction of WikiProject Retailing[edit]

This article has a tag on its talk page declaring that it is under the jurisdiction of Wikipedia: WikiProject Retailing. Fair enough - after all, this seems the most logical WikiProject group to watch over this particular article. However, I have just been to the page for that WikiProject for the first time ever today (January 8 2013) and noticed that it has a tag declaring that the WikiProject is believed to be inactive. This would imply that this tag should be removed. I should say that the tag on the WikiProject Retailing page (or it might have been the talk page for that WikiProject group) said that if the tag had been placed in error or if the WikiProject group gets active again, the tag can be removed. Indeed, looking at the history of the WikiProject, I see that it had some work quite recently (late December 2012) so may be the tag should be removed. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 14:44, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Astor Market[edit]

I am not sure what, exactly, was innovative about the Astor Market, but the contemporary accounts of it treat it as innovative, and it certainly reads as a failed stepping stone on the way to the modern supermarket. Do read The Western Fruit Jobber reference! Choor monster (talk) 17:10, 12 February 2013 (UTC)


There are a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes throughout the article, particularly in the second half. Somebody should probably go through and review that, it makes the article irritating to read and caused me to skip over quite a lot of it.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:47, 18 August 2013

Wikipedia is "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit". No one is stopping you from going in and correcting the mistakes yourself. If you don't have time to fix all of them, you could at least make a beginning. --Alan W (talk) 21:47, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

Spambot error?[edit]

The spambot seems to have caught a perfectly legitimate academic research site. I've posted a request for an exception over at Wikipedia_talk:Spam-exceptions. Choor monster (talk) 16:38, 24 September 2013 (UTC)