Shopping is an activity that is enjoyed by many people. There are also people who hate shopping and say that it is a waste of time. But whether the people like shopping or not, they have to go to a shop, more or less frequently, to buy what they need because shopping is a necessity.
In the past the buyer knew personally the man with whom he did business. In many cases the seller was also the manufacturer of the commodity. Today we do not know the man who makes our shoes, furniture; … a printed label on the article we are buying represents them. The manufacturer sells to the wholesaler, he sells to the retailer, and he sells to the consumer.
There are many kinds of shops ranging from large department stores, self-service shops and supermarkets to small specialised shops such as the grocer’s, baker’s, butcher’s, greengrocer’s, stationer’s, chemist’s, ironmonger’s (hardware shop), haberdasher’s, bookshop, footwear shop, boutique. Nowadays more and more customers prefer shopping in large department stores with self service, where everything can be found under the roof, to shopping in small specialised shops. However, some people still like shopping in small-specialised shops for their friendlier atmosphere.
At the grocer’s people can buy foodstuff including flour, sugar, salt, eggs, vegetable oil, stewed fruit, various kinds of tea and coffee, bottled beer and juice, sweets, chocolate, frozen and tinned vegetables and fruit. There are also dairy products such as milk, butter, cream, cheese and yoghurt.
At the baker’s various kinds of fresh bread, rolls, buns, pies and cakes can be bought.
The butcher sells meat including pork, beef, lamb, veal and poultry. Here we can buy smoked meat products such as ham, bacon, sausages and frankfurters. At the butcher’s people can also buy tinned and frozen meat and fish.
The people, who like to do gardening and some do-it-yourself work around the house, frequently need some hardware. They can go to the ironmonger’s to buy hammer, pliers, nails, screws, screwdriver, and other tools and materials.
At the stationer’s writing paper, envelopes, notebooks, fountain pens, ballpoint pens, pencils, crayons, glue, rubber, rulers, and compasses are kept. All the things used by school children can be bought here.
The haberdasher’s is the place where the housewives go when they need buttons, threads, needles and pins.
At the greengrocer’s and fruiterer’s we have wide selection of fruit and vegetables – ranging from products that can be grown in our climate to exotic tropical fruit. The fruit most frequently sold are apples, oranges, lemons, pears, bananas and tangerines. We need vegetables as a daily part of our diet. Vegetables often used for cooking are potatoes, carrots, onion, garlic, cabbages, beans, cauliflower and cucumbers. Many people prefer shopping at the market where there is a wider choice of fruit and vegetable.
The chemist’s is a specialised shop where people can buy medicines. In America the chemist’s shop is called a drugstore and they sell many more things than the British chemist’s does. Here we buy hair-cosmetics, shower gels, skin creams, toothbrush and toothpaste. For men there are shaving accessories (such as shaving cream, razor blades) and for women beauty aids (make-up, lipstick, eyeshadows).
Boutiques sell the latest fashion. Here especially the young people have a wide choice of dresses, shirts, skirts-plain and pleated, blouses – made of cotton or silk, pullovers including the fashionable polo-neck pullovers, blue jeans, but also stockings and scarves. Some of the boutiques also offer leather goods such as leather jackets, shoes, bags and leather belts.
Many people like to go shopping to department stores. The department stores are large buildings usually several storeys high. They have many departments which offer their customers all kinds of foodstuff, clothes, shoes, toys, sporting goods, leather goods, cleaning supplies and cosmetics, china and glass, hardware goods, household appliances, books, stationary and furniture, all under one roof. Nearly all the big department stores have cafés, snack bars or restaurants where the people can relax when they are tired of shopping. The big department stores started in America and the idea war brought to England by Gordon Selfridge some 80 years ago. Selfridge´s is still one of the biggest stores in London. It is situated in the Oxford Street in the centre of the West End. Other London’s big stores are Harrods, Gamages, Mark’s and Spencer.
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Shopping and Services
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