Grocery stores came into being at the beginning of the 20th century. They would sell dry goods, canned goods and some non-perishable staples. The customer would provide a list of items that he or she would like to buy and the clerk behind the counter would put together all the goods into a paper bag and accept the cash. In 1916, the process changed when Clarence Saunders opened Piggly Wiggly, the first self-serve grocery store. Customers would be able to shop between the shelves full of groceries and head to the cashier to make their purchase. Gradually, some products like meat, dairy, fruit, vegetables and bread, which had been sold separately, would be regularly available at the grocery stores. russian grocery store
The Development of Chain Stores
Together with a wider range of products sold at the stores, they have been renamed to supermarkets. At the beginning of the 1930s Michael Cullen established the 1st supermarket in America, King Kullen Store. The most striking feature of all the supermarkets would be the emphasis on quantity over quality. The prices were lower, as goods were sold straight from packing cartons with very little attention paid to the store’s decor. At first there were low-end regional chains of grocery stores and supermarkets. Later on, large chains caught onto the idea as well; however they changed the concept by making it more sophisticated. In the late 1930s hundreds of small service stores under one brand were united into one large supermarket.
The prices were low but the stores no longer resembled warehouses anymore: now they were colorful, well-designed, including special departments selling different kinds of goods. However the main aim, which was cost-cutting efficiency, remained intact. Nowadays, the supermarkets continue their cost-saving policy using discounting strategies to attract the customers, but apparently not all of them have been successful. While mainline stores went up, the middle range stores started vanishing. To prevent this phenomenon, superstores emerged, joining grocery stores and general merchandise under one dome.