How Do The Supermarkets Work? All About The Supermarket Business

. 6 min read
How Do The Supermarkets Work? All About The Supermarket Business

As modernisation and advancements occur rapidly in every field globally, the shade of markets have also changed a lot in the last decade. To meet the versatile needs of the customers, supermarkets have become quite common in all parts of the world. These supermarkets have not only changed the shade of the market but affected the customers’ necessities and shopping habits also.

Moreover, supermarkets have also improved the business sector by a lot. It has played a key role in enhancing enterprises’ performance and its critical factors. Nowadays, the supply chain remains strong due to the presence of the supermarkets. These markets have made improvements in terms of quality of the commodities they sell.

In earlier stages, supermarkets followed the “Integrated Modelling Method” but now, they work as franchises. However, the earlier structure is still active and it sets an example of an ideal supermarket.

How does a supermarket work?

A supermarket is basically a large shop where customers can purchase everything, including grocery items, staple food, meat, drinks, beverages and many other products under the same roof. As the setup of the supermarket is large, the process of its operation is complicated. Let’s know about it in a nutshell.

Integrating farmed products and stapled ones

One of the primary concerns of a supermarket is to sell farmed products, much like a fresh market. This makes up a significant portion of the stock of a supermarket.

Provide exciting shopping facilities

To improve customer base, a supermarket always offers exciting offers and deals. Moreover, the supermarkets concentrate on the aspect of maintaining good hygiene, unlike the traditional open fresh markets. Furthermore, customers get a lot of opportunities to try different brands and products that are normally unavailable in local markets.

Easy payments

In the traditional market, majority payments are cash-based. The scenario is however different in case of supermarkets in metro and urban cities. Customers can pay online or through debit and credit cards in a secured manner. This saves their time as well.

Stock tracking

Stock tracking helps to keep the supply chain intact and the leading supermarkets are efficient at this part of the job. Often, it gives away certain commodities at a discount to get rid of pre-existing inventories. This ensures higher sales. On the other hand, customers get attracted to this as it never occurs in a traditional market.

Types of Supermarkets

There are several types of supermarkets present globally. Nowadays, it is tough to stamp a supermarket specifically, but they are largely divided into two sections as per their sales, like the traditional and non-traditional grocery.

The details of the subsegments of traditional and non-traditional grocery are as follows:

The supermarkets can typically be divided into traditional & non-traditional categories

Traditional Grocery (Subsegments)

  • Traditional Supermarket:

The traditional groceries comprise all products that are common for a grocery store. Here, customers can find grocery items, meat, deli and beauty products too. These supermarkets are comparatively bigger than all others.

  • Limited assortment:

The groceries generally sell low-priced items and keep much lesser stocks than all other types of groceries. Often franchise groceries act as limited assortment supermarkets.

  • Fresh Format supermarkets:

The fresh format supermarkets have a high range of stocks but have some basic differences with the traditional ones. Here, the customers can get whole foods, organic and ethnic things.

  • Warehouse supermarket:

The warehouse supermarkets deal only with wholesale items as it is clear by the name. These are best for the retailers as they can get a huge amount of commodities at heavy discounts.

Non-Traditional Grocery (Sub-segments)

  • Supercentres:

Supercentres basically have the mixed traits of traditional supermarkets and prominent merchandisers. They deal with food items mainly, besides just grocery items as well as lifestyle products. It gives the customers to shop for different items under the same roof.

  • Wholesale club:

Wholesale club completely resembles the warehouse club but the customers can enter in it on being a member. It also deals with bulk transactions where one can buy according to the wholesale norms.

  • Dollar style supermarket:

Dollar style supermarkets mainly stored knick knacks and staple food items but now they sell readymade food and instant consumable items.

Apart from the non-traditional grocery supermarkets, there are stores that exclusively keep drugs, merchandise and other items. In many countries, separate supermarkets are available for the army personnels. These are called commissionaires and only the people related to defence can buy from here.

Due to the convenience of e-commerce websites & online businesses, people are now interested in buying several items from the e-commerce supermarkets. These online supermarkets give exciting discounts and seasonal offers making it convenient for the customers to shop with ultimate comfort.

Objectives of Supermarkets

There are some important objectives of supermarkets. Irrespective of which pattern it is, a good supermarket always tries to follow the following objectives:

Incur good profit

Good profit is the basic thing necessary for any supermarket to sustain in the business. It must always sell the exact items that the regional people consider authentic to consume. Moreover, a supermarket must always sell items that belong to the daily necessities of the regional public. Only by maintaining these, a supermarket can build up more sales as the customer base grows up  with time.

Modern supermarkets incur profit as it has a prominent impact on the customers’ shopping habits. This helps it to manipulate a huge mass of customers.

Enhance the services of all departments

A traditional or warehouse supermarket has several departments where the consumers can purchase different types of commodities. The main objective for a supermarket is improving the services of all departments. This can result in improved sales and quality stocks.

Supermarkets can also seek the services of efficient marketing agencies that can help them with ad campaigns with desired outcomes to maintain goodwill.

Improve customer loyalty

Another vital objective of a supermarket is to build customer loyalty. It can improve with time only. Excellent services, quality commodities, exciting discounts and offers and good hygiene help the supermarket improve customer loyalty. Another way to build customer loyalty is by making the payment process safer and more transparent.

Choose a good place to run a supermarket

Traffic in a supermarket is the primary concern for the entrepreneurs who run it. So a vital aspect is to make its presence in a place that has high traffic. Moreover, it must have other conveniences, like free parking space and good connectivity to the roadways.

Scope of supermarket

Scope of supermarket tends to the future of the supermarket business. As it follows a particular model, supermarkets should not mix up with the norms of the traditional market. All the component entities that are being mentioned must be taken care of while successfully managing the supermarket business:

  • The retail store chain
  • Transportation systems and stocks
  • Number of retail stores in a particular area
  • Product suppliers on a regional basis

The supermarket business model is highly competitive and one must always look for the number of supplier brands active in a certain area before opening one. Moreover, the number of potential customers should also be taken into consideration before going actively into sales.

Another aspect that supermarket models stand is the supply chain.  Proper maintenance of the supply chain will help to hold customers for a long time. The lifecycle of a commodity, However, does not come under the field of concern of the supermarket.


The supermarket business is one of the most promising business ideas to work on for the future to gain huge profit over time. However, one must always study the market and observe the regional lifestyle of the people before starting it. The scope and objectives mentioned that you have read about here can help you keep the visionary to open a supermarket in the future. Following some of the very important business tips can also cater towards high profits from the supermarket business.

Also read:
What type of permissions are required before starting any business?
How to manage the staff & maintain sales during the festive season?


Q. What will be the condition of the supermarkets in the post-COVID-19 era?

A. As per the condition of the supermarkets in the post-COVID-19 era, all social restrictions must be mandatorily followed till a cure comes to the fore. As a paradigm shift, all supermarkets can choose online payment structures and go for contactless home deliveries.

Q. How would I find a good supermarket in my area?

A. A good search on the internet can help you find a good supermarket in your area. However, the facts that you should check are its market presence, areas of sales, and maintenance of the social norms. Consider a  supermarket good if you find outstanding reviews and testimonials of it on the internet. The coverage area will be present on the supermarket’s website itself.

Q. Are the online supermarkets a good place to buy things from?

A. Yes, you can buy from the online supermarkets easily as they are keen to deliver you quality products in a secured manner.