Types of Stores
There are many different ways to shop in Canada including stores, flea markets and yard sales. Spring is the best time for flea markets and yard sales where you can get great bargains on previously owned goods (also referred to as “used goods”). Often an entire street will have a “street yard sale.” Each family will sell the things they no longer need in front of their home.
Stores in Canada are grouped in malls, plazas and in downtown areas. In malls, stores are all in one building, often around a central courtyard. In plazas, stores are lined up in a row and each one is reached directly from the outdoors. Both plazas and malls usually have large, free parking lots. Before the development of malls and plazas, individual shops were located on the main streets of the city centre. These areas are still popular for their character and tradition. In downtown areas, you may need to pay for parking; coin-operated meters are commonly used on busy streets. Certain stores offer free parking to customers.
A department store is a retail establishment that specializes in selling a wide range of products. Department stores usually sell products including clothing, furniture, appliances, electronics, hardware, toiletries, cosmetics, toys, and sporting goods. Discount department stores (sometimes called “big box stores”) are retail stores offering a wide range of products at discounted prices. These stores are usually large, with central checkout areas, and are often located outside cities and towns.
Discount Stores are similar to department stores, but offer additional price savings. Discount stores often sell bulk goods (larger portions and quantities) and offer fewer checkout stations and customer service employees. Check-out areas are usually located at the front of the store.
Supermarkets (sometimes called grocery stores) are large, self-service stores offering a wide variety of food and household items.
Convenience stores (or variety stores) are smaller stores, often located alongside a busy road or near a service station (a roadside gas and car maintenance location). These stores typically offer a limited range of groceries and household essentials.
Specialty stores are small stores that sell a specific type of merchandise (for example, sporting goods). These stores typically offer lots of selection within their specialty, and also provide extensive service and support.
Second-hand stores are retail establishments that sell used goods. They are often operated by charities as a means of raising money. Their goods are often donated, and the staff may be volunteers. Some second-hand stores are operated for profit.
Farmers markets are markets where farmers sell their produce to the public. They are usually held out-of-doors, in public spaces. Some farmers markets have permanent locations, while others are set up only on weekends or holidays. To find a Farmers Market near you, visit www.nsfarmersmarkets.ca.