Unit 2.1

Shopping: Shops and establishments


Types of establishments

Food establishments

  • Butcher’s shops are shops where butcher sell their goods. It is becoming more common to sell ready meals prepared from butcher’s meat, not only raw meat. There are around 6.000 of them in the UK. Some of the famous ones are C. Lidgate, Aubrey Allen, M. Newitt & Sons. Some of the butchers are now offering online ordering services, for example, greatbritishmeat.com
  • Fishmonger’s shops are shops where you can buy raw fish and various kind of seafood. 950 independent shops vary from traditional fish shops to farmer’s market stalls and mobile traders. Those shops are mostly being replaced by fish counters in supermarkets.
  • A greengrocer is a person who sells fruit and vegetables. In 2018 there were 2550 shops specialized in selling fruit and vegetables.
  • Delicatessen, also known as Deli, are shops selling high-quality foods like cooked meats, cheeses and unusual or foreign foods.
  • Markets are places or events at which people meet to buy and sell things. Some of the most known markets in the United Kingdom are Borough Market and Broadway Market in London, St George’s Market in Belfast, Edinburgh Farmers’ Market in Edinburgh and Swansea Market in Swansea.

Traditional establishments

  • Pharmacies also known as drug stores, are shops or part of a shop in which medicines are prepared and sold. There were 11.539 community pharmacies in 2018/19.
  • Kiosks are small buildings where things such as chocolate, drinks, or newspapers are sold through an open window.
  • Corner shops also are known as Convenience Stores are stores that have sales areas of less than 3.000 square feet, are open for long hours, and sell products from at least eight different grocery categories. In 2016 there were 46.980 corner shops in the UK. They can be found mostly in urban areas.

The new type of establishments and shops

  • Internet cafés are places that offer computers with an internet connection. Even though most homes have their internet connection, it is still possible to find them. They vary from small shops to places open 24h designed for gamers. Some of them also offer to print.
  • Computer hardware shops are places where you can find computer parts, external discs, etc. sometimes they also offer fixing computers and laptops.
  • Telephone boxes, also known as telephone kiosks, are public telephones designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. They are painted red to be more visible and are a common sight associated with the UK.

Outdoor street markets

  • Vintage items can be bought at street markets, flea markets and antique fairs like Peterborough Festival of Antiques, Portobello Road Market or Greenwich Vintage Market.
  • Clothes are sold at  markets dedicated to clothing like Spitalfields Saturday Style Market or Petticoat Lane Market.
  • Vegetables can be bought at street markets like Shipbourne Farmers’ Market or Moseley Farmers’ Market. Products often come from local producers.

Establishments where clothes are normally bought

  • Boutiques are a small shop that sells fashionable clothes, shoes, jewellery, etc.
  • Large stores are often selling clothes from one brand. You can find them for example in shopping centres.
  • Street markets and flea markets are a type of bazaar where space is rented to people who want to sell or buy products. Capital Carboot in London, Haydock Book Fair in Merseyside, Lewes Flea Market in Sussex and Bath Flea Market in Somerset are the famous flea markets in the UK.

Large stores

  • A supermarket is a large shop that has a sale area of 3000 – 25000 square feet (around 278 – 2322 square meters) and sells most types of food and other goods needed in the home. In 2016 there were 5584 supermarkets. “Big Four” supermarkets are Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda.
  • Department store is a retail business offering a wide range of consumer goods in different product categories known as “departments.”
  • Hypermarket is a combination of the department store and supermarket. There were 368 of them in 2016.
  • The shopping centre is an area or complex of shops. The largest shopping centres in the UK are Westfield London, Metrocentre in Tyne and Wear and Trafford Centre in Greater Manchester.

Large stores as a place to shop, a place to spend one’s free time and a meeting point in the urban periphery


Organisation of Products in Supermarkets and Shops

A supermarket is organised into aisles, and goods are displayed on shelves. Some supermarkets have counters where fresh produce is displayed, for example, a cheese counter or a meat or fish counter.

Products Commonly Associated with a Special Type of Establishment

  • Corner shops are small shops which contain limited products such as staples, sweets, newspapers, and other everyday items.
  • Haberdasheries are shops which sell ribbons, buttons, thread, needles and similar sewing goods.
  • Kiosks are small enclosed shops, often freestanding, open on one side or with a small window. They generally sell newspapers, cigarettes, magazines, etc.

Social Conventions Related to the Interaction between the Customer and the Sales Assistant

When sales assistants try to sell their products, they first introduce their products to customers. They introduce the products according to the customer’s interests. They try to be nice when communicating with the customer. Otherwise, the customer may not want to buy the products even if they consider buying. That is why it is important to be nice and attentive to the customer. A smiling face and sympathetic gestures may work out well when selling the products.


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