English Essay on "Supermarkets"

Supermarkets are increasingly becoming a feature of modern urban life. In design and service, they are a departure from the old-fashioned markets. Instead of a number of open walled sheds of concrete pillars supporting asbestos roofs, the physical side of the supermarkets consists of the ground floor of an ultra modern four or five—story building with glass walls in front. The comparison does not stop there.

In the old-fashioned markets, the housewife goes to one corner of one of the long sheds to buy pork horn there she moves to another part of another shed to buy beef; she may then cross over to the shed on the other side to buy vegetables, and then move on to another stall in the next shed to look for fish all sheds, of course, enclosed in the -same fenced compound. By the time a housewife finishes her Saturday marketing for a week she might have walked in and out of the sheds, and across the compound, a distance of nearly two furlongs. As she prepares to enter the fish stall, she may find the municipal worker washing the floor, pumping water through a hose and may have to move away so as not to get wet. On her way across to the work stall she may see a blind beggar asking for aims. Old-fashioned markets are also very noisy places.

In the supermarkets all types of merchandise are stored and arranged neatly on steel shelves and glass walled show cases under the same roof enclosed by glass walls. There is neatness and orderliness. As housewife can buy all the merchandise by walling along the counter, picking and choosing what she wants.

The pleasure and pain of bargaining cannot be experienced in the supermarkets. Prices are fixed and ‘labelled. It is for the housewife to choose whether or not she wants to buy a particular foodstuff. When she buys, she does so on the terms laid down by the supermarkets. if she decides not to buy tomatoes at 40 cents per pound, she may not find a nearby rival vegetable dealer, calling her attention to try out his tomatoes. From this point of view, supermarkets are organised to establish monopoly in business by stilling competition. Efficiency and promptness in service are maintained at the expense of the customers.

The comparatively high price a housewife pays for merchandise bought from supermarkets is in one way justified as foodstuffs are” stored under strictly hygienic conditions. It is true that the customer can get a wide variety of foodstuffs under the single roof of the supermarket; but freshness of meal, vegetables, fruit and fish is lost when they are preserved in refrigerators and in the vast stores behind the paste board walls. Exactly when the clock at the tower chimes five, the glass-doors of the supermarkets are closed. No frantic hurry is seen to dispose of the remaining stock at reduced prices as one can witness the old-fashioned markets. At night we can see the display of goods in the brightly lit supermarket through its glass walls. The next day the same foodstuffs which have lost their freshness are sold at the same fixed price. In the old fashioned markets, the stall holders bring the meat of freshly slaughtered pig goat or cow and fresh fish and vegetables. It is the daily demand that decides the stock of their merchandise; whereas the supermarkets specialise in bulk buying and large sales.

We live in an affluent world where the influence of commerce and business permeates practically even facct of man’s life Supermarkets are creations of the ingenuity of the world of commerce and business to satisfy the desire of the affluent part of society for sophistication in service and merchandise even in the sphere of marketing.

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