Ask Difference

Supermarket vs. Market — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on July 24, 2023
A supermarket is a large self-service store selling a wide variety of goods, including groceries and household items. A market, often open-air, is a place where people come to buy and sell goods, particularly fresh produce.
Supermarket vs. Market — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Supermarket and Market


Key Differences

Supermarkets are large self-service retail stores that sell a wide variety of products, including food and household items. Traditional markets, on the other hand, are often smaller and can specialize in specific goods like fresh produce, textiles, or artisanal products.
A supermarket typically has a consistent layout, displaying items in specific departments or sections, aiding customers in navigating the vast product assortment. Conversely, markets often have a more spontaneous layout, with different vendors selling their goods, each one having its own unique setup.
Supermarkets typically offer standardized, mass-produced items, often at fixed prices. In contrast, markets, especially those dealing in fresh goods, may offer a wider variety of locally sourced or handmade products, with prices that can be negotiated.
Supermarkets are often part of larger chains and can feel impersonal, focusing on efficiency and convenience. Markets, however, often provide a more personal experience as customers interact directly with vendors, fostering a sense of community and connection.
Supermarkets are generally found in urban settings, designed to cater to modern, fast-paced lifestyles with extended operating hours. On the other hand, markets may be located in a variety of settings, including urban, suburban, or rural areas, and typically operate on specific days or hours.

Comparison Chart


A large retail store that sells food and other household items, often part of a chain
A regular gathering of people for the purchase and sale of provisions, livestock, and other commodities


Typically large in size, ranging from medium to very large
Can vary in size from small stalls to large open spaces or buildings


A vast variety of products, from fresh produce to canned goods, clothes, appliances, etc.
The variety depends on the type of market. Some might specialize in specific goods like food, antiques, or livestock


Usually owned by corporations or large business entities
Can be owned by municipalities, small business owners, or individual sellers


Fixed prices. Consumers can't usually negotiate prices
Prices may be negotiable, especially in open-air or flea markets


Usually located in urban and suburban areas
Can be found in a variety of locations, including urban, suburban, or rural areas


Highly organized with departments for different types of goods
Organization can vary greatly, from highly organized farmer's markets to loosely structured street markets

Operating Hours

Generally has set opening and closing times, often operating for extended hours or even 24/7
May have specific market days and hours, often not as extended as supermarkets


More commercial and standardized
Can offer a more unique or community-centered atmosphere

Compare with Definitions


A large self-service retail store selling groceries and household goods.
I'm heading to the supermarket to pick up some groceries for the week.


A physical location or public space where goods and services are bought and sold.
Every Saturday, the townsfolk gather at the market to buy fresh produce.


A supermarket is a self-service shop offering a wide variety of food, beverages and household products, organized into sections. This kind of store is larger and has a wider selection than earlier grocery stores, but is smaller and more limited in the range of merchandise than a hypermarket or big-box market.


A public gathering held for buying and selling goods or services.
A weekly flower market.


A supermarket is a self-service shop offering a wide range of food, beverages, and household products.
After work, she stopped by the supermarket to buy ingredients for dinner.


The state of trade at a particular time or in a particular context.
The housing market has been booming this year.


A chain of such stores.


An open space or a building where goods or services are offered for sale by multiple sellers.
She bought the chair at the downtown antiques market.


(figurative) A one-stop shop; a place offering a range of products or services.


A gathering of people for the purchase and sale of merchandise at a set time, often periodic.
The right to hold a weekly market was an invaluable privilege not given to all towns in the Middle Ages.


A large self-service store that sells groceries and, usually, medications, household goods, and/or clothing.
I went to the supermarket to buy some food.


A specified group of potential buyers, or a region in which goods may be sold; a town, region, or country, where the demand exists; as, the under-30 market; the New Jersey market.


A large self-service grocery store selling groceries and dairy products and household goods.


The buyers and sellers for a particular good or service or within a particular region.
Recent college graduates were entering the US labor market.


A retail mega store selling items from food to clothing.
She bought her new dress and weekly groceries all in the same supermarket.


The business transacted between such sellers and buyers.
A slump in the housing market.


One-stop shop for diverse consumer needs, predominantly food and household items.
For convenience, he did all his shopping at the local supermarket.


The demand for a particular commodity.
A big market for denim.
A growth market.


A hub for procuring groceries and daily necessities at competitive prices.
He was thrilled to find his favorite cereal on sale at the supermarket.


The sum total traded in a process of individuals trading for certain commodities.


A large format retail store that provides a wide variety of products under one roof.
The supermarket near her house saved her from making trips to multiple stores.


(transitive) To make (products or services) available for sale and promote them.
We plan to market an ecology model by next quarter.


A large self-service shop selling foods and household goods.


(intransitive) To deal in a market; to buy or sell; to make bargains for provisions or goods.


A large self-service retail market that sells food and household goods.


(intransitive) To shop in a market; to attend a market.


A large-scale store offering a wide variety of food and household items organized into aisles.
The supermarket had aisles dedicated to fresh produce, dairy, and canned goods.


A public place (as an open space in a town) or a large building, where a market is held; a market place or market house; esp., a place where provisions are sold.
There is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool.


Supermarket is a large retail market that sells food and other household items in self-service format.
On Saturdays, they often visit the supermarket for their weekly shop.


To deal in a market; to buy or sell; to make bargains for provisions or goods.


The world of commercial activity where goods and services are bought and sold.


The customers for a particular product or service.


A marketplace where groceries are sold.


Engage in the commercial promotion, sale, or distribution of.


Buy household supplies.


Deal in a market


Make commercial.


The demand for a particular product or service.
With the rising health consciousness, the market for organic food is growing rapidly.


A group of potential customers for one's product or service.
Teenagers represent a huge market for the latest tech gadgets.


A store or shop that sells agricultural produce.
They bought vegetables from the corner market.


A system of exchange in which prices are determined by the interaction of multiple, competing buyers and sellers.
An electronic market for trading pollution credits.


A similar system in which information or ideas are evaluated by multiple competing interests.


The price of a particular good or service as determined by supply and demand.
The gold market climbed for the fifth straight day.


A standing commitment to buy and sell a given security at stated prices.
A brokerage that made a market in the company's stock.


A subdivision of a population considered as consumers.
Targeting the teen market.
A new product for the West Coast market.


The market price.
They executed the sale at market.


To offer for sale.


To try to make (a product or service) appealing to particular groups of consumers; promote by marketing.


To deal in a market; engage in buying or selling.


To buy household supplies.
We marketed for a special Sunday dinner.


City square or other fairly spacious site where traders set up stalls and buyers browse the merchandise.


A grocery store.


A group of potential customers for one's product.
We believe that the market for the new widget is the older homeowner.


A geographical area where a certain commercial demand exists.
Foreign markets were lost as our currency rose versus their valuta.


A formally organized, sometimes monopolistic, system of trading in specified goods or effects.
The stock market ceased to be monopolized by the paper-shuffling national stock exchanges with the advent of Internet markets.


(obsolete) The price for which a thing is sold in a market; hence, value; worth.


(transitive) To sell.
We marketed more this quarter already than all last year!


A meeting together of people, at a stated time and place, for the purpose of buying and selling (as cattle, provisions, wares, etc.) by private purchase and sale, and not by auction; as, a market is held in the town every week; a farmers' market.
He is wit's peddler; and retails his waresAt wakes, and wassails, meetings, markets, fairs.
Three women and a goose make a market.


An opportunity for selling or buying anything; demand, as shown by price offered or obtainable; as, to find a market for one's wares; there is no market for woolen cloths in that region; India is a market for English goods; there are none for sale on the market; the best price on the market.
There is a third thing to be considered: how a market can be created for produce, or how production can be limited to the capacities of the market.


Exchange, or purchase and sale; traffic; as, a dull market; a slow market.


The price for which a thing is sold in a market; market price. Hence: value; worth.
What is a man, If his chief good and market of his time Be but to sleep and feed?


The privelege granted to a town of having a public market.


To expose for sale in a market; to traffic in; to sell in a market, and in an extended sense, to sell in any manner; as, most of the farmes have marketed their crops.


The economic system in which prices are determined by unrestricted competition between privately owned businesses.
The free market system allows for open competition among businesses.

Common Curiosities

What is difference between supermarket and market?

A market typically refers to a physical location where buyers and sellers meet to exchange goods and services, such as a farmers market. A supermarket is a specific type of retail store that sells a wide variety of goods, including food and household products, typically organized in aisles.

What is the difference between supermarket and Specialty store?

A supermarket is a large store selling a wide variety of goods. A specialty store focuses on selling a specific type of product or category of products.

What is supermarket also known as?

A supermarket is also known as a grocery store, especially in North America.

Why is the supermarket industry competitive?

The supermarket industry is competitive because it is often dominated by several large firms, each striving to attract and retain customers through pricing strategies, product selection, store services, and shopping convenience.

What is the difference between supermarket and departmental market?

A supermarket is a large self-service store selling foods and household merchandise, while a departmental market, also known as a department store, sells a wide range of items categorized into different departments, such as clothing, home appliances, furniture, cosmetics, etc.

What is the objective of supermarket?

The primary objective of a supermarket is to sell a variety of goods in high volumes to generate profit. Other objectives may include providing customers with a convenient one-stop shopping experience and ensuring high customer satisfaction.

Why is it called a supermarket?

The term 'supermarket' is used to denote a 'super' or large-scale 'market.' It refers to a large self-service store selling a wide variety of goods, including food and household items.

What makes a market a supermarket?

A market becomes a supermarket when it is a large self-service store offering a wide variety of food and household products organized into departments. Supermarkets tend to focus on high-volume sales and are typically part of a chain.

What is the difference between Mart & market?

While both 'mart' and 'market' refer to places where goods are sold, 'mart' is often used in the names of retail stores and businesses, for instance, 'Walmart.' On the other hand, a market is a broader term that can encompass various types of commerce, including open-air markets, fish markets, online markets, etc.

What are the three types of supermarket?

Supermarkets can be broadly categorized into conventional supermarkets, big-box supermarkets also known as hypermarkets, and discount supermarkets.

Why is market called Mart?

The term 'mart' is derived from the word 'market'. It was initially used in the names of commercial buildings where trade took place and later adopted by certain retail chains as part of their branding.

What is called market?

A market is a place where buyers and sellers come together to exchange goods and services. This can be a physical location like a flea market or a virtual one like an online marketplace.

Who defines a market?

A market is defined by the interaction of buyers and sellers. It can be further defined by geographical area, range of products offered, or the demographic of its consumers.

What are the four major supermarkets?

The specific supermarkets considered 'major' can vary by region. As of my knowledge cutoff in 2021, in the UK, for example, the 'Big Four' are Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, and Morrisons.

What is the difference between supermarket and hypermarket?

A hypermarket is larger than a supermarket and combines a supermarket and a department store. It offers a wider variety of goods, including groceries, clothing, electronics, and more.

Is a supermarket an example of a product market?

Yes, a supermarket is an example of a product market. A product market is any place where final goods or services are traded between buyers and sellers.

What market classification is a supermarket?

A supermarket is classified as a retail market that deals in the sale of goods directly to consumers.

What are the strengths of a supermarket?

Supermarkets have several strengths, including variety and range of products, convenience of shopping, ability to leverage economies of scale, and often lower prices compared to small stores due to volume purchases.

Is a supermarket a monopoly?

Supermarkets typically do not constitute a monopoly because they operate in an oligopolistic market structure, where there are several large firms dominating the market rather than one firm controlling the entire market.

Why are supermarkets an example of an oligopoly?

Supermarkets are an example of an oligopoly because, in many regions, a small number of large supermarket chains dominate the market and compete with each other.

What type of structure is a supermarket?

In terms of market structure, a supermarket is part of an oligopoly - a market dominated by a few large sellers. Within the supermarket itself, the structure typically includes various departments such as produce, dairy, meat, bakery, and household goods.

What is inventory in supermarket?

Inventory in a supermarket refers to the total amount of goods and products that the supermarket has in stock at any given time.

How do you shop in a supermarket?

To shop in a supermarket, customers typically grab a shopping cart or basket, navigate through the store's various sections picking up items they need, then pay for their items at a checkout counter before leaving the store.

What is a synonym for Mart?

Synonyms for 'mart' include store, shop, market, outlet, and emporium.

How does a supermarket work?

A supermarket works by purchasing large quantities of goods from various suppliers, organizing them in a large retail space, and selling them to customers. The supermarket makes a profit by selling these goods at a higher price than it paid to the suppliers.

What is the difference between supermarket and shopping mall?

A supermarket is a large retail store that primarily sells food and household items. A shopping mall is a large building or complex that contains a variety of different retail stores and restaurants.

What are the areas of a supermarket?

Typical areas in a supermarket include the produce section, dairy section, meat and fish section, bakery, frozen foods, dry goods and canned foods, household items, and often a pharmacy.

What are the 4 characteristics of a market?

The four main characteristics of a market are the presence of competition, the existence of a medium of exchange, the presence of supply and demand, and the ability to negotiate prices.

What is a market for a business?

For a business, a market is the environment in which it operates and where it interacts with its customers and competitors. It is the place where the exchange of goods and services happens.

What is the structure of the market?

Market structure is characterized by the number of firms in the market, the nature of the product being sold, the degree of competition, and the ease of entry into and exit from the market.

Is Carrefour a supermarket or hypermarket?

Carrefour operates both supermarkets and hypermarkets. The designation depends on the size of the store and the variety of products offered.

What are the 4 market categories?

The four main types of market classifications are perfect competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly, and monopoly.

What is an example of a supermarket?

Examples of supermarkets include chains like Walmart, Tesco, Aldi, and Kroger.

What are the advantages of supermarket?

Supermarkets offer advantages such as a wide variety of products, one-stop shopping convenience, consistent product availability, and competitive prices due to large-scale operations.

How are supermarkets competitive?

Supermarkets are competitive in many ways, such as pricing, product variety, store location, customer service, and the quality of goods. They also compete through marketing and advertising efforts.

How much profit does a supermarket chain make?

The profit a supermarket chain makes can vary widely depending on factors like location, size, and competition. As of 2021, supermarket profit margins are typically slim, often ranging from 1% to 3%.

What is a chain supermarket?

A chain supermarket refers to a supermarket brand or company that operates multiple supermarket locations, often nationwide or even internationally.

How does a supermarket supply chain work?

The supermarket supply chain starts with producers who provide raw materials to manufacturers. The manufacturers produce goods and sell them to distributors or directly to supermarkets. The supermarket then sells the goods to consumers.

What was the first supermarket?

The first supermarket in the US is considered to be Piggly Wiggly, which opened in 1916 in Memphis, Tennessee.

What is the root word of market?

The root word of 'market' comes from the Latin 'mercatus', meaning trade or a place to trade.

What is the Oxford definition of market?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, a market is "a regular gathering of people for the purchase and sale of provisions, livestock, and other commodities."

What is another type of market?

Another type of market can be a virtual or online market, where buyers and sellers meet electronically to exchange goods and services.

What are other names for market?

Other names for market can include bazaar, marketplace, mart, fair, exchange, and emporium.

How do supermarkets attract customers?

Supermarkets attract customers through strategies like competitive pricing, loyalty programs, offering a wide variety of products, good customer service, regular sales and promotions, and maintaining clean and organized stores.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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