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Role of Supermarkets in the Supply Chain Management

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  • Last Updated : 24 Nov, 2021

A supermarket is a self-service store that is divided into sections and offers a broad selection of food, drinks, and home items. This type of shop is larger and has a greater selection than older grocery stores. Fresh meat, fresh fruit, dairy, baked goods, and other items are commonly found at supermarkets. Canned and packaged foods, as well as numerous non-food items such as cookware, home cleansers, pharmaceutical products, and pet supplies, have their own shelf space. Supermarkets first appeared in the United States during the Great Depression of the 1930s and in 1966 ‘Super Bazar’ appeared in Delhi as ‘India’s first supermarket’. The absence of salespeople is the most distinguishing aspect of a supermarket. 

Supermarkets are a contemporary development that has mostly replaced marketplaces in India, particularly in metropolitan areas. Even while they are accused of limiting regular traders’ earnings, they have aided farmers to some measure.

India is a major producer of vegetables, fresh fruits, and a variety of other foods. Because of their perishability, seasonality, and bulkiness, marketing fruits and vegetables is more difficult than marketing many industrial items.

The Role of Supermarkets in the Food Supply Chain:

1. Better transportation 

Fruits, vegetables, and other perishable foods need quick delivery in order to maintain their freshness. Supermarkets provide such quick transit options. In comparison to traditional ways, supermarket chains move their merchandise more quickly. They begin by transporting fresh food to a packing business, where the fruits and vegetables are processed before being packaged. Most of the time, the same shipping boxes that the fruits and vegetables are shipped in may also be used to display them in stores as well.

2. A wide range of items

The broad variety approach is a merchandising technique that draws people into the store by offering a diverse choice of products. Occasionally, certain items (usually staple commodities like bread, milk, and sugar) are marketed as loss leaders in order to entice customers to their store. Supermarkets stock a wide range of goods. This implies that customers have a wider range of products to choose from. 

3. Availability at all times

There are several supermarkets, which are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In such a setup, individuals may go to stores anytime they need something. Supermarkets, in contrast to traditional systems, stock merchandise all year, including during off-seasons. Markets for storage products emerged as a result of this. 

4. Makes shopping easier

As supermarkets provide a large number of products in one location, it is easier to keep track of things even during busy periods. It will be able to lower costs, make shopping easier, and increase shelf availability by selling fewer items.

5. Imported items are available 

The Internet plays a significant role in the lives of today’s people; individuals can see new items on the Internet and want to acquire them. Since supermarkets have a lot of new items that we can’t be able to access all of them from the small shops. Besides these, imported items are also available in the supermarkets. 

How Supermarkets eliminate intermediaries:

1. Dealing directly with producers

Supply chain management (SCM) in agribusiness refers to the coordination of interactions between enterprises responsible for the efficient production and distribution of products from the farm to the customer, in order to fulfill consumers’ needs in terms of quantity, quality, and price. Farmers are no longer reliant on middlemen to purchase their food and deliver it to end-users. The supermarket system is set up in such a manner that farmers may deliver their goods directly to the chains and even obtain better rates than they would get from the traditional way of selling chains. Supermarkets use wholesale grocers to assist them in goods distribution to maintain uniformity and simplicity of operations. Wholesale grocers buy items from manufacturers and then distribute them to grocery stores so that customers may get their hands on them. 

2. Transportation costs are reduced

Middlemen are involved in a variety of variables, including transportation. Goods must travel a great distance to reach their destination and maybe be rejected owing to damage caused by non-scientific motions. Farmers will no longer have to worry about transportation thanks to grocery chains. Supermarkets buy directly from farmers in the vicinity of metropolitan regions. To receive grains, pulses, fresh fruits, and vegetables from farmers living outside of metropolitan areas, supermarkets frequently partner with “aggregators” (such as farmers’ cooperatives and commercial logistical businesses). As a result, the farmers not only get more pricing than Mandi but also save money on shipping and unloading.

3. No longer used of the Agricultural Mandis

Agricultural mandis are sites where there are a lot of intermediaries. Farmers are duped into selling at a cheaper price, while merchants benefit handsomely. Improper weighing, needless deductions, excessive commissions, and delayed payments are all ways in which farmers are being abused.

In traditional marketplaces, these agents and auctioneers buy goods from farmers and sell them to wholesalers, who then sell them to retailers, who finally sell them to consumers. Supermarkets contribute to the removal of intermediaries agents and auctioneers in this way. Because supermarkets buy directly from farmers and sell straight to customers, they remove the whole intermediary supply chain.


Self-centered avarice on the part of individuals in positions of control, like with so many other technical and societal developments, generates issues. Those who own and manage supermarkets must assume responsibility for the entire purpose, social and environmental, in order for the supermarket to be helpful to society. As a corollary, we may conclude that supermarkets have been a benefit to most manufacturers. This structure decreases the number of intermediaries, and it benefits both producers and buyers. Higher efficiency rates, quality control, improved customer relationships and service, a faster production cycle, lower production costs, and an overall increase in a country’s financial performance are all benefits of an effective supply chain system.

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