Supermarket and hypermarket are two kinds of shopping stores that are very similar to one another, with only a fine line distinguishing the two. It often becomes difficult for people to differentiate between these two kinds of markets. A supermarket can be considered as a big shopping center that functions on a concept of self-service. The entire variety of groceries, food products and household items are available in a supermarket. On the other hand, a hypermarket is a large self-service warehouse and retail store that has features of nearly all kinds of retail stores, i.e., supermarket, grocery stores, retail store and specialty store. Hypermarkets are considered as one-stop shop for all the needs of customers and include all the items that may be required by a person every day.

This article will present the definition of the two terms in detail and then explain how the two are different from one another.

Definitions and meanings


Supermarkets refer to large self-service stores that offer various food and household items to customers. A supermarket is systematically planned, having organized aisles that are given numbers or labels. In addition, similar products are placed next to each other. A special format is followed by supermarkets where customers can move through aisles with their shopping baskets or carts and pick any item that they require themselves. They then take their goods to the billing counters and make payment.

Early on, supermarkets did not include fresh food and grocery items; however, modern supermarkets offer fresh fruits and vegetables, poultry, meat, dairy products and bread. In addition, they also have household products like kitchen appliances, cleaning supplies, medicines, crockery, baby products, etc. Supermarkets attract customers by offering low prices and various discounts and deals.

Supermarkets typically try to achieve economies of scale by obtaining products in bulk from large distributors or manufacturers. They generally have a very small profit margin and forward the discounts to their customers.


A hypermarket is a mix of supermarket and departmental store and is considered as a one-stop store for fulfilling all the requirements of customers. The goal of a hypermarket is to offer all those goods that may be needed by individuals every day, for example grocery, medicines, clothes, etc. under the same roof so that they do not have to go to any other store to buy those items. In addition, hypermarkets also have other products such as beauty products, electronic appliances, crockery, hardware, etc.

Hypermarkets work on a high-volume, low sales margin model, where discounted prices are offered to customers with the aim of acquiring a greater number of customers. A layout similar to that of supermarkets is followed by hypermarkets, where individuals can move their trolleys or carts through the aisles and choose any product that they want to buy. Hypermarkets may have different levels, with the grocery section taking up one floor, while other departments and sections like clothing, appliances, etc. situated on other floors. Hypermarkets usually have large parking lots surrounding the building or in the basement.

Differences between supermarket and hypermarket

Difference between supermarket and hypermarket is given below:

1. Meaning

A supermarket refers to a large-scale grocery store that offers an extensive variety of food items, grocery, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, beverages and other household items under a single roof. In contrast, a hypermarket is a combination of a supermarket and a department store, having a wide variety of items, including electronics, clothes, appliances, etc. in addition to grocery and food items.

2. Size

Supermarkets typically cover a large area where they sell different varieties of products under a single roof. However, they usually have a single floor with different sections. Hypermarkets are usually bigger in size than supermarkets and have entire buildings dedicated to their store, where different departments are situated at different floors.

3. Variety of products sold

A large number of products are sold at supermarkets, including products of the same kind. Hypermarkets sell even greater number and variety of products than supermarkets. Hypermarkets aim to sell all those products that a customer may require on a daily basis.

4. Store appearance

Supermarkets usually have an attractive interior decor, whereas hypermarkets give the image of a warehouse instead of a shopping store.

5. Location

The ideal location for supermarkets is at the center of a city so that it can be reached by a maximum number of customers. In contrast, hypermarkets require a large area and a huge parking space, and so they are typically situated in suburban areas in the outskirts of the city.

6. Objective

The objective of developing supermarkets is to generate profits through the sale of goods, whereas the goal of hypermarkets is to bring about savings of the customers by offering low priced products.

Supermarket vs hypermarket – tabular comparison

Supermarket vs Hypermarket
A very large grocery and retail store that includes a wide variety of food items, grocery and household products A combination of a supermarket and department store that is a one-stop solution for all the products required by customers
Very big shopping outlets; usually have a single floor Bigger stores than supermarket; situated in entire buildings with different floors
Variety of products sold
Wide variety Greater variety compared to supermarkets
Store appearance
Attractive decor and appearance Warehouse-type appearance
Center of city City outskirts
Generate profits Bring about savings of customers

Conclusion supermarket vs hypermarket

Hence, in view of the above, it can be concluded that the key difference between supermarket and hypermarket is based on their size and the range of products offered. A supermarket is a large-scale grocery store that offers a variety of food, beverage, grocery and household items. On the other hand, a hypermarket is a mix of supermarket and department store where customers can find each and every item that they may require in their daily lives at very reasonable prices.

A significant change has been recently noted in the market towards one-stop solutions for individuals. This is because individuals prefer those stores that offer all types of products at a single location so that they do not have to visit different stores. Hence, there has been an increase in the presence of supermarkets and hypermarkets all over the world.