English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is there a common term that covers both groceries & conveniences. Products that one would purchase either at supermarkets or corner stores?

Is there a venue type that would describe supermarkets, corner stores, bakeries... in one?

This word would not necessarily other shopping products like clothes, electronics, medication, furniture.

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Groceries is the term you are looking for. Here in the US, the phrase grocery shopping covers every imaginable household consumable. I can go grocery shopping and end up in Walmart, stop at Starbucks or even at a gas station. Oftentimes, grocery shopping is just an excuse to go for a relaxing drive and get some coffee while you're at it!

As for venue, the term grocery store is used for supermarkets where fresh produce is often on sale (e.g. Shoprite, StopNShop, Giant). A more general term is drugstore. This is used, however, more often to describe convenience stores or "pharmacies". CVS in the US is a great example, as it is rarely referred to as a grocery store.

share|improve this answer
Thanks, this covers my need, all other answers are good as well but I found that Groceries will be clearer than staples/sundries to our target market – Moak Nov 19 '11 at 3:30

staples - A major item of trade in steady demand.

merchandise would cover all products.

share|improve this answer

You can use "commodities" I believe.

share|improve this answer
Could you please provide a citation or example for this? I've never heard of commodities being used this way, at least in the Northeastern US. – daxelrod Nov 18 '11 at 10:51
Commodity or commodities is generic word used to refer to any type of the marketable products.. example: Chocolate is becoming an increasingly expensive food commodity. – Apoorva Nov 18 '11 at 12:41

Marriam-Webster says of grocer:

a dealer in staple foodstuffs, meats, produce, and dairy products and usually household supplies

Tesco refer to themselves a grocer in their literature. So maybe groceries is fine.

share|improve this answer

I would use "sundries". May or may not technically cover groceries but I've used it for such with no confusion.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.