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Definitions & Terminology

In the Food Retail World there is a lot of terminolgy used that doesn't always have a clear definition or the definition can vary from country to country or even company to company. With this page I hope to provide some definition to terms you may see or hear as it relates to the business or at the very least associate the related terms together as a single source.

I will also provide basic formulas to define some terms to help you have a better understanding of where numbers come from and/or what they mean.



Convenience Store

A small easy access store that offers a limited assortment of products, most often focused on snack foods, fast foods and ready to eat.

Grocery Store/Food Market/Neighborhood Store

A store in size up to 20,000 square feet that offers a general line of grocery and perishable products including meat and/or produce with an average of 5,000 to 10,000 sku's. Sales volume is below $2 million annually. Tesco's Fresh and Easy for example.

Limited Assortment/Discount Store

Stores generally smaller than average sized supermarkets that offer a limited amount of products, usually between 2,000 and 5,000 sku's. Often they will have minimal or no perishables offerings like meat and/or produce. Usually they have lower prices than most food stores and are dominated by Private Label products (up to 95% of their listings). Aldi and Lidl for example.

A store between 20,000 and 50,000 square feet that offers a full line of grocery, meat and produce with an average of 10,000 to 30,000 sku's and a sales volume over $2 million annually. For example J Sainsbury stores portfolio from the U.K.


A store larger than 50,000 square feet that offers a full line of groceries, meat and produce as well as containing other food departments such as deli, bakery, seafood etc. with an average of 30,000 to 60,000 sku's. These stores also offer non-food products where other departments may go beyond 25% of total floor space. In the U.S. Wal-Mart is the best example for Superstores/Supercenters. Overseas the hypermarket concept is led by Carrefour and Auchan.
Warehouse/Club Store/Cash & Carry
Generally these stores are no frills type operations where products are not usually displayed on shelves but rather on pallets or fixtures as the products were shipped from the manufacturer. Some chains such as Costco require a membership to be able to shop in their stores in their club stores. Other businesses such as Metro AG have Cash & Carry stores not open to the general public and are for foodservice, commercial and bulk customers only.




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