A super market is a big retailing business unit selling large variety of consumer products on the basis of low margin appeal, large variety and assortment, self-service and heavy emphasis on merchandising appeal. The products traded are normally food commodities and other low priced, branded and widely used consumer goods such as grocery, utensils, clothes, electronic appliances, household goods, and medicines. Super markets are normally located at the main shopping areas. Products are kept on racks with properly labeled price and quality tags in these stores. The consumers move into the store to pick up products of their needs, bring them to the cash counter, make payment and take home the delivery. They are organized on departmental basis where consumers can purchase various types of products under one roof. But, when compared to departmental stores, the super markets don't offer certain services like free home delivery, credit facilities, etc., and also don't appoint sales persons to convince customers about the quality of goods. Some of the main features of these markets are as follows:
- They normally carry a complete line of food items and groceries, in addition to non-food convenience products;
- The purchasers can buy various products as per their requirements under one roof in such markets;
- They operate on the principle of self-service and thus the distribution cost is low;
- The rates of the goods are normally lower than other types of retail stores because of bulk purchasing, lower operational cost, and low profit margins;
- They sell products on cash basis only; and
- They are normally situated at central places to secure high turnover.
- One Roof, Low Cost: They offer a large variety of products at cheap rates, under one roof. These outlets are hence not only convenient but also economical for the purchasers for their shopping.
- Central Location: They are normally situated in the centre of the city and so they are easily accessible to large number of people staying in the surrounding areas.
- Wide Selection: They keep a large variety of products of different designs, color, etc., which enables the purchasers to make better selection.
- No Bad Debts: As normally they sell on cash basis, there are no bad debts in super markets.
- Benefits of Being Large Scale: It is a large scale retailing store and It enjoys all the benefits of large scale purchasing and selling because of which its operating costs are less.
- No Credit: Their sales are on the basis of cash only and no credit facilities are made available to the purchasers. This reduces the purchasing power of purchasers from these super markets.
- No Personal Attention: They work on the principle of self service and the customers by this do not get any personal attention. Because of this, such goods that require personal attention by sales persons cannot be handled properly in super markets.
- Mishandling of Goods: Few consumers handle the commodities kept in the shelf with out care and this can raise costs in super markets.
- High Overhead Expenses: They incur large overhead expenses and thus these are not able to make low price appeal among the consumers.
- Huge Capital Requirement: Establishing and functioning of a super market needs a large investment and the turnover of a store is suppose to be high so that the overheads are kept under reasonable level. These are possible in larger towns but not in small places.