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Shopping and services

When people talk about modern life, they often use the words consumer society. A consumer is someone who uses a product. A consumer society is a society in which material goods are very important.

In the past, people would shop more often for staple foods such as fruit, vegetables, meat and bread. They would buy these in local shops in the town or village where they live and carry them home in bags. Other things such as newspaper, magazines, cigarettes, sweets and milk was at the nearest corner shop.

Today, many families have a big freezer at home and a microwave. Meals such as pizza pies and many other dishes can be taken out of the freezer, heated up and ready to eat in just a few minutes. They are becoming more and more popular with people who don't have time to cook.

There are two main types of shops:

-Individual shops sell goods that are available in larger stores, but often pride themselves on the quality of their goods and service. They are: clothes shop, cake shops, butchers, bakery, gift shops, shoe shops, newsagents, antique shops, chemist shops, pet shop, greengrocers, china shop, jeweler's, bookshops

-Hypermarket is the largest type of shop and usually situated outside a town, where there is space for a large car park. Supermarket does save a lot of time. There is so many products under one roof . Sometimes are supermarkets more cheaper than smaller shops. In many supermarkets have their own brands of the most common food products which are cheaper still. Some supermarkets have started to offer free gifts to customers who have spent lots of money in their shops. Supermarkets are popular. They sell not only foods but household goods and some sell goods as diverse as cameras, guns and ammunition.

The older people usually don't have a car and it is not very easy for them to travel to a supermarket. It is much easier for them to use smaller local shops and they don't need to buy so much food as young families. Now are the corner shops often open much longer hours than ordinary shops but lots of them have to close down.

Goods can be bought not only in shops and stores but also in outdoor markets. Market today have a number of stalls, mostly selling cheap or second-hand gods, but also flowers, fresh fruit and vegetables.

A typical American kind of shop is the drugstore which includes a chemists but also food, alcoholic drink, stationery and even clothes.

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