Department stores -owned by one or several persons, shareholders, co-operatives, business chains- usually unite various shops formerly known as departments- under one roof so customers can obtain everything in one store. They advertise on a wide scale and usually have big sales and profits, yet, by now they have lost their importance against new types of retail outlets.
Some of the most popular foreign department stores are Federated and May in the U.S.A., The Bay in Canada, and Mitsukoshi in Japan.
A discount store is a type of department store, which sells products at prices lower than those asked by traditional retail outlets. Most discount department stores offer wide assortments of goods; others specialize in such merchandise as jewellery, electronic equipment, or electrical appliances. Discount stores differ because they sell branded goods and prices vary widely between different products. Discount department stores are more popular in the United States than other countries. Following World War II, a number of retail establishments in the United States began to pursue a high-volume, low-profit strategy designed to attract price-conscious consumers.
A discount store is usually oriented towards the medium and lower-end consumers.
Supermarkets are large self-service, cut-price chain stores which sell a wide variety of goods, but especially those in constant demand, e.g. food, drink, household articles, etc. They are able to sell some goods at lower prices than other retailers due to the discounts they get from manufacturers. Supermarkets cut out personal service by shop assistants.
The policy of ‘loss-leaders’ pursued by supermarkets means cutting the price of some popular article very much below the market price, in order to attract customers to the shop.
Supermarket is a misused term often used for self-service multiple stores which latter is an organisation where many traders do business on their own account in the same premises. The owners of the premises take their profit from the charges made to the traders, rather than from the turnover.
Hyper markets are huge self-service stores, usually over 3000 square meters, situated out of town, offering a wide range of household goods and groceries, with plenty of parking space for cars and during off-peak shopping hours too. That makes them –together with their extremely competitive prices- attractive. The variety of goods on offer is wide, their stocks include clothes, consumer durables, hardware, etc. In Hungary this form of retail shops has been gaining ground relatively fast recently.