SHOPS AND SHOPPING. CONSUMER RIGHTS.



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SHOPS AND SHOPPING. CONSUMER RIGHTS.



 

Shopping

Some people are fond of shopping. Others consider it to be a waste of time.

Different people have different attitude to shopping. It is usually considered that all women love shopping, while all men hate it. In reality there are women who are indifferent to the process of purchasing things and there are men who find shopping to be the best entertainment.

Personally, I like shopping. To my mind, it is a wonderful leisure activity. I often go shopping just to pass the time, to get pleasure or to plan a later purchase. Besides, sometimes I make purchases online. It is very fast and convenient. You have access to the information about the particular product and you can look at it. What is more, you don't even have to leave your house. It helps you save much time and effort and encourages you to purchase more products.

However, some people hate shopping and consider it to be a terrible waste of time and money. It drives them crazy to look for the things they need and to wait in long lines to buy them. They prefer to purchase everything they need in the nearest supermarket. Sometimes they buy clothes in the sales without paying attention to their quality and price. Such people take the first thing that falls into their hands and don't try to look for something cheaper and better as they can't stand the process of exploring shop-windows and counters. But I think that department stores and supermarkets save plenty of time and make our lives easier.

To conclude, shopping is a part of people's daily lives. But it's up to you to decide how much time and money to spend on shopping.

 

Some people like supermarkets and shopping centers. However, others say that they have too many disadvantages.

Nowadays there are a lot of shops, supermarkets and shopping centers in every city. Some of us are fond of spending our free time there. But the increasing number of supermarkets and shopping centers worry a lot of people.

Personally, I am fond of supermarkets and shopping centers. A supermarket usually offers you a wide choice of goods and you can buy food, clothes, toys, books, disks and electrical goods under a single roof. Nowadays everything is done in order to make shopping more convenient. Many shops work 24 hours. So food and drinks are available at night. Some supermarkets offer extra services such as cafes, pharmacies, banks or children centers.

However, many people prefer small shops to big ones. There are usually crowds and long lines in supermarkets. So there is always noise and hustle there. Perhaps, there are too many supermarkets and shopping centers nowadays. They make us buy more and more goods. Quite a lot of people can't resist the temptation to buy things that they don't need when they see bright wraps and reduced prices. Shops attract the buyer with advertising, discounts and lottery. A lot of supermarkets use the so-called psychological prices: a little less than a round number, for example $ 9.99. Some people are addicted to shopping. They get great pleasure from buying things and they often make useless and unplanned purchases.

To sum up, I think that supermarkets and shopping centers are very useful. But when you go there, you should try to be economical and buy only the things you need. Otherwise, you risk spending too much money.

 

Some people enjoy buying different things, while others say that our lives would be better if we bought fewer goods.

To buy or not to buy? That is the question. Modern society is often called consumer society, because buying goods and services is considered to be very important. What people need depends on their age, character, way of life and other factors. But do we really need as much as we buy?

Personally, I am fond of shopping. I often buy things which I don't really need, but which make my life a little happier such as an MP3 player, designer jeans, beautiful postcards or a bar of chocolate. There is always a wide choice of different goods in every shop and supermarket and when I see beautifully shaped bottles and bright wraps, I can't resist the temptation to buy things.

However, some people say that if we bought only what we needed, there would be enough for everybody. If we buy fewer goods, we will become "conservers" because it will help save natural resources. Some products have too much packaging, creating more rubbish and causing pollution. Besides, if we don't buy so many things, we won't have to work so much. We will reduce our working day and we will have more spare time. It will give us an opportunity to go in for sports, to travel and what not.

To conclude, when we go shopping, we should think about what we really need to buy. It is also useful not to take much money with you and to make a list of goods you need, so that you will not be influenced by advertisements, discounts or promotions. Our lives may become happier and healthier if we buy less.

 

Some people think that excessive shopping is a hobby and the way to spend your free time. Others say that shopaholism is a disease with its specific symptoms.

Many people, especially women, consider shopping to be a leisure activity. They go shopping to pass the time and to get pleasure. However, love for shopping is all right until it turns into addiction.

To my mind, shopaholism is becoming a global problem, with the growth of advertizing and online trading. It can be compared with smoking, alcoholism or drug abuse. People who are addicted to shopping say that the act of buying gives them a high like a drug. Shopaholics often feel satisfaction when they are in the process of purchasing. Shopping gives them a sort of euphoria and excitement. It helps them forget about their sorrow. But there is usually a feeling of disappointment afterwards, followed by guilt. Shopaholics feel either regretful or depressed when they get home. Some people become so ashamed of their problem that they may commit suicide. Furthermore, shopaholism leads to emotional, social and financial problems. The consequences also include ruined relationships, health problems, extreme levels of debt or even theft.

Nevertheless, some people do not realize how destructive the nature of shopaholism is. They don't take any measures when their friends or relatives spend much time and money on buying useless things. But they must understand that shopaholism is not just love for shopping. I think that people who are addicted to shopping must receive treatment for shopaholism.

To conclude, shopaholism is a serious disorder which can lead to numerous problems. That's why it is essential to notice early signs of this addiction. If you catch the trouble early, the problem may be easy to fix.

 

What is shopping?

It is rather a tricky question, in my opinion, as for different people shopping means different things: it may be a household duty, a favourite leisure activity or something else. For most men it is an ordeal, they can hardly bear more than twenty minutes in any shop and prefer doing any kind of hard work to accompanying their wives or girlfriends in a boutique or a supermarket. For women shopping for clothes, toiletries or jewelries is a kind of entertainment, they can spend hours choosing a T-shirt or a pair of shoes, trying them on or even window-shopping. Although the word shopaholic was coined a few years ago the phenomenon itself has been excsting for hundreds of years. Fortunately I am not crazy about shopping, but I always shop around before making a purchase; however I am compelled to admit that modern department stores and malls have an irresistible fascination, especially at Christmas time when they are lit by light and beautifully decorated.

By the way, a few years ago we had no idea of what a mall is, they were associated with the USA or Western Europe. As far as I know American teenagers who spent most of their time in malls were even called mall rats. Now we have in Saratov and have got used both to the word and these huge shopping centers.

Modern technology affects people`s lifestyles and daily routine. Now we can do our shopping not only in stores or markets but also on the Internet. No doubt shopping online is more convenient and less time consuming but on the other hand buying clothes without trying them on or perfume without smelling it may not seem a good idea.

While Internet purchases seem to be themost advanced kind of shopping flea markets attract more and more people. Lots of people go there in search of bargains. Period pieces in antique shops may cost a fortune while in a flea market one can buy a unique thing dirt cheap. Some flea markets like the one in Portobello Road in London or Jaffo in Israel have become tourist attractions so far. Back yard or garage sales are also a good way to buy a useful thing (household goods, toys, books, CDs) at a low price, unfortunately they are not so popular in our country as, for example, in the USA.

Shopping can tell us a lot about any country and its culture. In the Near East, bargaining is a part of tradition and a kind of art. In Russia we more often pay in cash while in Western Europe cards are more common and shoppers even get a discount if they hay in cash.

Shopping for food is less exciting but may be more essential. One can choose between small groceries and big food shops, chain stores and supermarkets. In contrast to small shops they are more spacious and well laid out, with the goods arranged tidily and attractively on long lines of shelves and in refrigerator units. A bewildering multitude of signs, posters and advertising displays draw the attention of customers to this or that product or "special offer". Because of their big size big stores are able to offer a much wider selection of good than their small competitors and at a lower price. So they are large, efficient, well organized and modern but at the same time somewhat soulless and impersonal. Nevertheless very few people feel nostalgic about the time when there were neither supermarkets nor food on the shelves of local shops.

 

Supermarkets

A supermarket is a self-service store offering a wide variety of food and household merchandise, organized into departments. It is larger in size and has a wider selection than a traditional grocery store and it is smaller than a hypermarket or superstore.

The supermarket typically comprises meat, fresh produce, dairy, and baked goods departments along with shelf space reserved for canned and packaged goods as well as for various nonfood items such as household cleaners, pharmacy products, and pet supplies. Most supermarkets also sell a variety of other household products that are consumed regularly, such as alcohol (where permitted), household cleaning products, medicine, clothes, and some sell a much wider range of nonfood products.

The traditional suburban supermarket occupies a large amount of floor space, usually on a single level, and is situated near a residential area in order to be convenient to consumers. Its basic appeal is the availability of a broad selection of goods under a single roof at relatively low prices. Other advantages include ease of parking and, frequently, the convenience of shopping hours that extend far into the evening or even 24 hours a day. Supermarkets usually make massive outlays of newspaper and other advertising and often present elaborate in-store displays of products. The stores often are part of a corporate chain that owns or controls (sometimes by franchise) other supermarkets located nearby; even transnationally; thus increasing opportunities for economies of scale.

In North America, supermarkets typically are supplied by the distribution centers of its parent company, such as Loblaw Companies in Canada, which operates thousands of supermarkets across the nation. Loblaw operates a distribution center in every province; usually in the largest city in the province.

Supermarkets usually offer products at low prices by reducing their economic margins. Certain products (typically staple foods such as bread, milk and sugar) are occasionally sold as loss leaders, that is, with negative profit margins. To maintain a profit, supermarkets attempt to make up for the lower margins by a higher overall volume of sales, and with the sale of higher-margin items. Customers usually shop by placing their selected merchandise into shopping carts (trolleys) or baskets (self-service) and pay for the merchandise at the check-out. At present, many supermarket chains are attempting to further reduce labor costs by shifting to self-service check-out machines, where a single employee can oversee a group of four or five machines at once, assisting multiple customers at a time.

A larger full-service supermarket combined with a department store is sometimes known as a hypermarket. Other services offered at some supermarkets may include those of banks, cafés, childcare centers/creches, photo processing, video rentals, pharmacies, and/or gas stations.

Supermarkets use stock rotation, the practice of moving products with an earlier sell-by date to the front of a shelf so they get picked up and sold first.

 

History of Supermarket

In the early days of retailing, all products generally were fetched by an assistant from shelves behind the merchant's counter while customers waited in front of the counter and indicated the items they wanted. Also, most foods and merchandise did not come in the individually wrapped consumer-size packages that we take for granted today, so an assistant had to measure out and wrap the precise amount desired by the consumer. These practices were by nature very labor-intensive and therefore also quite expensive. The shopping process was slow, as the number of customers who could be attended to at one time was limited by the number of clerks employed in the store.

The concept of a self-service grocery store was developed by American entrepreneur Clarence Saunders and his Piggly Wiggly stores. His first store opened in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1916. Saunders was awarded a number of patents for the ideas he incorporated into his stores . The stores were a financial success and Saunders began to offer franchises. The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A&P) was another successful early grocery store chain in Canada and the United States, and became common in North American cities in the 1920s. The general trend in retail since then has been to stock shelves at night so that customers, the following day, can obtain their own goods and bring them to the front of the store to pay for them. Although there is a higher risk of shoplifting, the costs of appropriate security measures ideally will be outweighed by the increased economies of scale and reduced labor costs.

Early self-service grocery stores did not sell fresh meats or produce. Combination stores that sold perishable items were developed in the 1920s. [

According to the Smithsonian Institution, the first true supermarket in the United States was opened by a former Kroger employee, Michael J. Cullen, on August 4, 1930, inside a 6,000 square foot (560 m²) former garage in Jamaica, Queens in New York City. The store, King Kullen, (inspired by the fictional character King Kong), operated under the slogan "Pile it high. Sell it low." At the time of Cullen's death in 1941, there were seventeen King Kullen stores in operation.

Other established American grocery chains in the 1930s, such as Kroger and Safeway, at first resisted Cullen's idea, but eventually were forced to build their own supermarkets as the economy sank into the Great Depression and consumers became price-sensitive at a level never experienced before. Kroger took the idea one step further and pioneered the first supermarket surrounded on all four sides by a parking lot.

Supermarkets proliferated across Canada and the United States with the growth of suburban development after World War II. Most North American supermarkets are located in suburban strip malls as an anchor store along with other, smaller retailers. They are generally regional rather than national in their company branding. Kroger is perhaps the most nationally oriented supermarket chain in the United States but it has preserved most of its regional brands, including Ralphs, City Market and King Soopers.

In Canada the largest such chain is Loblaw, which operates stores under a variety of regional names, including Fortinos, Zehrs and the largest Loblaws (named after the company itself). Sobeys is Canada's second largest supermarket with locations across the country, operating under many banners (Sobeys IGA in Quebec). Today, supermarkets are found around the world in dozens of countries.

In the 1950s supermarkets frequently issued trading stamps as incentives to customers. Today, most chains issue store-specific "membership cards," "club cards," or "loyalty cards". These typically enable the card holder to receive special members-only discounts on certain items when the credit card-like device is scanned at check-out.

Traditional supermarkets in many countries face intense competition from discount retailers such as Wal-Mart, Asda in the UK, and Zellers in Canada, which typically are non-union and operate with better buying power. Other competition exists from warehouse clubs such as Costco that offer savings to customers buying in bulk quantities. Superstores, such as those operated by Wal-Mart and Asda, often offer a wide range of goods and services in addition to foods. The proliferation of such warehouse and superstores has contributed to the continuing disappearance of smaller, local grocery stores, increased dependence on the automobile, suburban sprawl because of the necessity for large floorplates, and increased vehicular traffic and air pollution. Some critics consider the chains' common practice of selling loss leaders to be anti-competitive. They are also wary of the negotiating power that large, often multinational, retailers have with suppliers around the world.



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