In big cities, Americans do their grocery shopping at large supermarkets. They usually shop once or twice a week, and when they go through the check-out stand, their shopping carts are full of groceries.
A large supermarket is a big business. Although primarily selling food items, supermarkets also handle other lines of merchandise which include housewares, school supplies, garden supplies, phonograph records, beer, camera film and supplies, toothpaste, aspirin, nylon stockings, toys, clothing, magazines and even books. The supermarket tries to meet the housewife's every need so that when she leaves, she'll shop nowhere else.
Mrs. Ruth Jones is typical of millions of housewives in the United States. She walked into the supermarket at 3:00 on Friday afternoon and passed through the check-out stand at 3:30. During her half hour in the store, while walking from department to department, she passed by nearly 7,000 different items and bought twenty-three of them, from the week's meat supply to lettuce, tomatoes and magazines.
In order to attract customers, the supermarkets have tried to make shopping as pleasant as possible. Some of them have flowers and trees in the parking lots. Some have roofs over the walks so that shoppers can walk from their cars to the store without having to worry about snow, rain or the hot sun. Ceiling are sometimes soundproofed, and music is piped in. Most of the stores are air-conditioned.
With these and other improvements, super- markets have steadily become more popular. The popularity of supermarkets is not limited to the United States. From Bangkok to Buenos Aires, the old-style grocery store is fast disappearing. In Europe, supermarkets have flourished since 1975. There's no doubt about it —— more and more housewives around the world will soon be standing in the check-out lines.
随着内部及周围环境的改善，超级市场越来越普及，而且人气渐旺。超市的流行不只是在美国，从曼谷到布宜诺斯艾利斯，老式的杂货店在迅速消失。在欧洲，自1975年以来超级市场长盛不衰。毫无疑问 — 世界上将会有越来越多的家庭主妇站到超市结账台前排队的人群中去。