[TAG] Issue #106
mso at oz.net
Mon Sep 20 22:55:53 MSD 2004
On Mon, Sep 20, 2004 at 06:39:39PM +0100, Thomas Adam wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 20, 2004 at 10:24:44AM -0700, Mike Orr wrote:
> > When I was in Bristol the people in the hostel recommended a cheap
> Oh right - actually in Bristol or surrounding area?
In the city. My hostel was in the center, and my friend's house was
in the south a half-hour walk away. The store was roughly in the
> Asda (Walmart owned)
Maybe that was it, and not Aldi?
> > supermarket, so off I went for provisions. It was a half hour walk
> > away. It turned out to be the German company Aldi, if I remember right,
> Yup - Aldi are well known to the Bristol/Bath area. There was a point when
> that was the only area to find them, but they're gradually spreading outwards
> like so many food outlets.
> > which I've also encountered in Germany. It's not a supermarket as I
> > think of it because they don't seem to sell large portions of anything,
> > so you don't get the economy of size. I don't mean the large wholesale
> > sizes but the medium sizes you find at Safeway (US) and Sainsbury's
> > (England). (Which, by the way, I could not find at all in Germany,
> > although maybe I wasn't looking in the right places.)
> I like Sainsburys. There's three main leaders here:
Sainsbury's is just like an American supermarket. Tesco here is a chain
of gas stations, not supermarkets. Of course, we're still trying to
figure out how Virgin can be an airline, train line, and cybercafe chain,
since we thought they were a record store.
> Hehe - to me, a supermarket is a place one goes to buy food from. Although
> many do now tend to sell other items such as cheap clothing, and microwaves,
> but the scale is still very small.
That's not a supermarket. :) A supermarket is a large store that sells
food in family-sized portions, competes mainly on price (although Whole
Foods specializes in organics and natural foods), and tries to stock
every conceivable type of food. It contrasts with the small mom-n-pop
grocery stores that have almost entirely disappeared.
Any place that sells a variety of food I would call a "grocery", whether
large or small. But a dedicated meat/fish store or vegetable/fruit
store I wouldn't call a grocery; I guess because you can't obtain a
complete meal from them.
Supermarkets usually have small non-food items like utinsels, paper,
and cough syrup, but I've never seen one selling microwaves or
clothing. Safeway did sell a small line of TVs twenty years ago, but
Supermarkets are often paired with drug stores, which were originally
pharmacies but also sell small non-food household stuff: school
supplies, kitchen supplies, razors, walkmans and cameras, and Halloween
costumes. Boots in England is a drug store. (Why does it have a name
like Boots if it's not a shoe shop?) I think you call drug stores
something else in England but I can't remember the word.
Department stores like Macy's and Sears sell clothing, "large"
things (tables, beds, stoves and refrigerators, bathroom cabinets),
wedding and crystal stuff, etc. Sears also sells mechanics' tools.
Nordstrom's is also considered a department store, although it only
sells clothing (mid-level and high-end).
Then there's the big stores like Fred Meyer, Target, Wal-Mart, and
K-Mart that don't really have a name. They aren't department stores
because they aren't posh enough, but they're not drug stores either
because they have a wider selection of small non-food stuff, and they
often have lots of clothing and TVs too. Nowadays they've come under
the generic classification of "big-box stores". A few of them have
entire supermarkets inside them.
Then there's wholesale clubs like Costco and Sam's Club. They started
in the late 80s, and were originally meant to sell to small businesses
rather than individuals, but you could also get a membership if you
worked for the government or belonged to certain credit unions
(=non-commercial banks). But families with children quickly realized
that wholesale sizes were perfect for them and fanagled a membership any
way they could. Then the explosion of credit-union membership brought a
ton of new members indirectly. I don't know why Costco continues its
facade of membership restrictions and being "mainly a small-business
supplier", but they do. Sam's Club is owned by Wal-Mart, but it's
curious that it doesn't seem to generate the controversy that Wal-Mart
does. Maybe because nobody in the northwest knew who Sam Walton was
when Sam's Club appeared ten years ago?
-Mike Orr (aka. Sluggo), mso at oz.net (iron at sense-sea-MegaSub-1-465.oz.net)
http://sluggo.kicks-ass.org/ Cxu vi parolas Esperante?
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