The Supermarket

These days it’s easy to hear negative news about the economy and it is in the mind of most people. Very few people know that it was in an era, some what similar to this, that the supermarket was born and transformed our way of living.

In the 1930’s, during the time of the Great Depression, the supermarket was born. Prior to 1930, people usually made separate, daily trips to the butcher, baker, produce stand and milk man. Mom-and-pop grocery stores generally carried only one brand of any specific item and products were selected by a clerk behind a counter. In rural areas grocers dispatched so-called huckster wagons to the country to sell canned goods and prepared foods. Customers were dependent on these wagons to deliver the items they needed to survive. The process was erratic, labor intensive and costly.

In 1930, Americans spent 21% of their disposable income on groceries. By 1940, that percentage dropped to 16%. Today, that figure is less than 6%, thanks to innovations in food distribution, mass merchandising and price competition that began in the 1930s. This economy of scale allows consumers to spend more of their disposable income on other things such as automobile, clothing, education, entertainment, etc.

During today’s economic climate, consumers continue to shop with a different trend. People are more educated about the products and are paying more attention to quality as well as price. According to an expert, “Shopping is still a strong source of entertainment, and the thrill of the hunt is more important than ever. It seems to be an antidote to the anxiety people are feeling.” When consumers find bargains, this expert says, “it feels like a win.” The key is for the retailers to engage and entertain their customers without more clutter.

With the technology available today from leading POS system providers such as IBM, retailers are able to meet and exceed consumer demands by utilizing innovative technologies that cut costs and provide valuable information for retailers to better service their customers. Examples are system reliability, customer loyalty program, self-service technology and the ever enhancing consumer-protection security. It is our goal at STCR to continuously deliver cutting edge technologies and support to help our customers do better for their consumers.