Conclusion : local versus national seen within a zero / positive sum game
Outline the view that big supermarkets both provide and limit choice
I will be looking at several arguments that support the view that big supermarkets provide choice to consumers. Choice through the range of goods and services they offer; through allowing choice over when and how a customer wants to shop and the price they wish to pay to the choice provided to workers in foreign countries when production is moved there. The counter arguments that support the claim that big supermarkets actually limit the choice now available to consumers will also be examined. I will look at the connection with the decline of independent High street retailers and the impact this has on the choice now available to consumers. How low prices for consumers has an impact on the choices made by suppliers and their workers will also be examined. The evidence to support both sides of this argument has been gathered using both the course materials and personal observation of how supermarkets are stocked.
One of the main pieces of evidence to support the view that big supermarkets provide choice is the range of goods and services on offer to consumers. Before the appearance of the big supermarket, high street grocery stores would have a small selection of branded items, sometimes only stocking one type of a particular item. In contrast, today’s supermarkets will often stock multiple ranges of the same item, from well known global brands to the stores own-brand range. A wider and more diverse range of both products and services are available at big supermarkets than was ever delivered by high street stores. Both worldwide and continental foods are now readily available for consumers were before they would have only been accessible through specialist shops. The availability of fruit and vegetables used to be determined by which season it was but supermarkets are now able to supply fresh produce regardless of the season. (Allen, 2009, p. 70) Most of the main supermarkets now also provide a diverse range of financial services such as credit cards, loans and different types of insurance as well as stocking lifestyle items like books, CDs and even clothing and home furnishings in some. (Allen, 2009, p. 57) The big supermarkets provide such a large range of goods and services now that it is possible for people to only visit the supermarket to do all of their shopping if they wish to and not have to use several different individual stores.
This leads to the next argument supporting supermarkets providing choice to consumers, which is the choice of convenience and access This is both the convenience of times when a customer wishes to shop but also the method of how they want to shop. High street stores opening hours have traditionally been limiting, primarily being open nine to five and closed on a Sunday. Supermarkets enable customers to choose the times most convenient for them to shop with many now offering twenty four hour access. When using the high street, consumers have to visit multiple stores to purchase their goods and with the majority of local authorities now charging for car parking, shoppers have to pay to use their local High street if using the car. The supermarkets provide the ability for a one-stop shop and many customers will use their local big supermarket...
...lose out to supermarkets gain
• Seduced- consumers who are seduced by large supermarkets
• Repressed-consumers who are unable to shop in large supermarketsProvidechoice
• Variety- Supermarketsprovide more choice than smaller shops; this could be because they are larger and able to hold more products. They also offer other household items making it a much more convenient way to shop. (Allen, p.79, making social lives)
• Choices- more supermarkets are opening 24 hours which mean people can shop at there convenience. Supermarkets also sell products all year round such as strawberries, whereas smaller businesses may only be able to offer products seasonally (Allen, p.79, making social lives).
• Lower prices- as supermarkets bulk buy they are able to offer lower prices as they are usually able to negotiate with suppliers (Allen, p.66, making social lives)
• Boost to economy- in rundown areas large superstore development brings tremendous benefits to local communities in the shape of jobs for the unemployed, improved self respect and skills development (Allen p69, 2009)
• Better facilities- supermarkets can provide better facilities such as parking
• Forcing closure of smaller businesses- As...
...Outline the view that bigsupermarketsbothprovide and limitchoice.
In the context of our consumer society, the role of bigsupermarkets and their influence on our lives has come under much scrutiny. Broadly split into an anti-supermarket and pro-supermarket camp, both sides insist that their interpretation of evidence is the correct one, and that their conclusions are sound. In light of such contention, I will explore both sides of the argument, and attempt to explain how an answer can be both ‘yes’ and ‘no’, depending on which perspective you are looking from, and how you interpret the evidence used to support it.
That the bigsupermarkets (in particular the ‘big four’; Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s) have power, is not in itself disputed. Power itself is a complex, indeed even abstract, term. It can refer to Market Power or Buying Power. It may allude to fiscal might or political influence, the ability to coerce suppliers and producers through price, or the ability to sway planners toward favouring an application. Regardless of which definition or definitions we use, it is fair to say that supermarkets hold a great deal of power. The arguments revolve around exactly what big...
...The worlds first famous supermarket was opened in the USA in 1912 and the idea soon spread to Europe and other countries. The shopping scene in Poland has also changed over the past ten years. Empty shelves and long lines are things of the past. Today trade is alive and very busy.
Shopping has become a part of our everyday life, of course some people love it and some do not. We have become witnesses of the growth of big stores and shopping centres. All of them are beautifly decorated and are opened for the whole day and weekends.
This enormus place has plenty advantages and disadventeges. It is designed in such a way that the shoppers have to go a certain route from the entrance to the cash point near the exit. The customer is guided past all the most popular production display and therby encouraged to buy items he would have forgotten to buy. You don`t have carry things but you just take a trolley.
It is a very convenient way of shopping because you can choose the product you want from a large range and you have the possiblity to get to know the new products. You are served in a very polite way and no one makes you hurry because other shoppers are waiting behind you. The variety of goods is so great that you are given time to decide what to choose. Supermarkets can be called \\\\\\\"the all in one shop\\\\\\\" because they offer products of every kind. There are departments specializing in: food for people and pets, clothes,...
...In order to outline the nature of Supermarket Power on the High Street and beyond it is first important to establish what is actually meant by the term Power. Power is a complex term used to denote influence, control or domination (Allen, 2009, p 59). Because supermarkets sell products of many descriptions it is important to explain that ‘shopping’ has become a large part of people’s everyday lives and it has been suggested that we now live in a Consumer Society. A Consumer Society is a label used to refer to a society which is defined as much by how and what people purchase and use as by what they make or do (Hetherington, 2009, p 13). So what therefore is the nature of supermarket power on the high street and beyond if, we do now indeed live in a consumer society?
What makes a supermarket powerful? The obvious answer to this would be in the name “super” which indicates size, not individual store size but how many stores across the country, which means supermarkets such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda can dominate the market place. A supermarkets size matters in this sense because they have both market power and buyer power. Market Power is the power to influence market conditions, including price, independently of competitors, they can do this because they have a larger market share and rivals can do little about it. Buyer Power is the relative bargaining...
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the type of food store. For the 2006 comic Supermarket, see Supermarket (comics). For the album, see Supermarket (album).
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Produce section in a supermarket
Packaged food aisles in a supermarket
A supermarket, a large form of the traditional grocery store, is a self-service shop offering a wide variety of food and household products, organized into aisles. It is larger in size and has a wider selection than a traditional grocery store, but is smaller and more limited in the range of merchandise than a hypermarket or big-box market.
The supermarket typically comprises meat, fresh produce, dairy, and baked goods aisles, along with shelf space reserved for canned and packaged goods as well as for various non-food items such as household cleaners, pharmacy products and pet supplies. Most supermarkets also sell a variety of other household products that are consumed regularly,...
...refers to how we do and view things in our group. For example a shared set of values, assumptions, perceptions and conventions based on a shared history and language can make a certain group. In order for society to function efficiently and smoothly these individuals must learn to integrate and coexist together. This will involve among other things, accepting and sampling different types of foods and even adjusting their diets. This is due to the large impact culture and ethnicity has on diet, which results in changes in heath. As a result the choices and selections of food that people make, in the classes of foods they eat, will vary widely.
Different cultures may encourage or frown upon consumption of different foods by individuals who belong to their groups. Also the consumption of different foods at different stages of life may be actively encouraged or discouraged. This is due to the benefits and dangers of consuming these foods at certain times of life and in certain conditions. For example most cultures will not approve of the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy or lactation. This is due to the adverse affects produced by this drink. Foods and nutrition may also be affected by culture, with respect to different beliefs within the culture.
Religion plays one of the most influential roles in the choices and subsequent selection of foods consumed in certain societies. For example, in the Hindu and Buddhist religions...
...Outline the Argument that Supermarket Power is a ‘Zero-Sum’Game.
Over the past few decades, hundreds of supermarkets have been built in towns and cities across the UK. They have become such a powerful force, that the four largest supermarkets, (Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda and Morrisons, ) take nearly three out of every four pounds spent on groceries, in the UK. (Bevan 2006). They have a combined market share of over 73.6% of the UK grocery market. (wikipedia.org “List of supermarket chains in the UK”).
What is a ‘Zero-Sum’ Game?
American born, Sociologist, Dennis Wrong (1997) stated that the power held by the supermarkets is a ‘zero-sum’ game. This means that they are in a situation whereby one party’s loss is another party’s gain and vice versa. If you subtract the total losses from the total gains, the sum would equal zero. (Taylor et al., 2012, p.70)
For example, when a new supermarket opens up in a town, which is currently predominantly supplied by local stores, the supermarket will most probably take a significant proportion of their customers from them, due to their lower prices and promotions. This means that the supermarkets gain, by increasing sales and the local shops...
...Outline the argument that supermarket power is a “zero-sum”game
Before we discuss the argument let us understand first what the terms “power” and “zero-sum” mean. Power is a complex term used denote influence, control and domination, (Taylor, et al, 2009,p.59). The power used by supermarkets includes buying and market power. The big four supermarkets in the U.K. account for approximately 75% of the food and groceries market therefore giving them significant market power. Their buying power is the ability they have to negotiate prices with suppliers and the large chains thus being able to demand discounts when buying in such large quantities. This gives them the ability to influence things such as pricing, for example offering goods at below cost prices.
The term zero-sum game is used when one party’s gain will be another’s loss therefore equalling a zero sum. A good example of this is slicing a pie, if one person takes a large slice there is less for everyone else. The pro supermarket campaigners argue that the supermarkets use their power for good and all parties involved benefit to some extent creating a positive sum gain but the the following argues to the contrary..
As shoppers they offer us a wide variety of products at affordable prices, in accessible locations. Additionally they offer employment, boosting local skills and helping to draw in other businesses such as...