What Are Multiple Stores And Supermarkets In Commerce?

What Are Multiple Stores And Supermarkets In Commerce?

MULTIPLE STORES – Multiples are defined as retail companies having more than ten branches. They tend to specialize in a particular type of good and the items sold in each store of the group tend to be similar, as do their prices. Chain stores(or variety multiples) are similar in other respects to multiples but they do not specialize in a particular line of merchandise. The stores of a particular group normally have the same shop fronts and are usually located in important shopping areas.

Multiples are usually limited-liability companies. They are con- trolled and administered centrally from a head office. Goods are purchased from this office and are often stored in a central warehouse prior to being distributed to the individual stores. The individual stores are administered by a branch manager, whose main responsibilities are stock control, accounts, display, and staff control.

The specific advantages of this type of store include:

1. The discounts gained by bulk buying can be passed on in lower prices.

2. They are able to afford sites in the best shopping areas of any

3. They are able to employ specialist staff in each of the various departments, thus making all run more efficiently.

4. Their standards are well known so customers will often continue purchasing from a particular group when they are out of their home area.

5. Their larger orders permit them to place considerable pressure on manufacturers to ensure that both quality and delivery dates are met.

The specific problems of this type of store include:

1. Their sales policy is sometimes inflexible and unable to take
account of local needs.

2. As the organization grows in size, so it becomes more difficult and often more costly to administer Stock control in particular becomes more difficult and staff relations may deteriorate. This may result in the stores giving poor service to their customers.


The chief features of department stores are that they are large and divided into several departments selling different types of goods. The idea is therefore one of having several different shops all under one roof for the convenience of the customer. The emphasis tends to be on high-quality durable goods which are often sold on credit.

They are generally sited in the most prestigious central shopping areas of major towns and cities. The in terrors are large and well-appointed with great emphasis on services such as cafes, music, carpeting, and much personal attention from the assistants, in order to keep the customer satisfied particularly in the purchase of the larger and more expensive items for his home.

The stores are usually owned by public or private limited companies. The retail section is divided into departments under the control of a buyer who is responsible for both the buying and selling of goods in his department as well as its administration. They are classed as large retailers and are therefore able to take advantage of the benefits of large-scale retailing mentioned earlier.


The main features of supermarkets are that usually they are fairly large in size and offer self-service Supermarkets can mostly be classified as co-operatives, multiples or chain stores. Such shops sell food predominantly but the larger ones may have a larger range including most food items. They are mainly found in the larger towns and cities.

Advantages of supermarkets

An advantage of self-service is that it is quicker for the customer to serve himself than for him to wait for one of the staff to collect the goods for him. It also reduces the number of staff that are needed; savings in salaries here may be passed on to the consumer the form of lower prices.

This, plus the discounts gained by buying in bulk, make the supermarkets very competitive in terms of their prices and their arrival has meant that many smaller retailers have been forced to close because they cannot compete on this important point.

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