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Supermarket vs. Mall: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 6, 2023
A supermarket is a large self-service shop offering a wide variety of food and household products; a mall is a large building or series of connected buildings with a variety of stores and typically also restaurants.

Key Differences

A supermarket is a large retail market that sells food and household goods. It is a self-service store where customers can pick out items they wish to purchase. A mall, however, is a complex of shops and restaurants housed within a series of connected buildings or a large enclosed area.
Supermarkets focus solely on the sale of consumables and day-to-day necessities, while malls offer a wider range of shopping and entertainment options.
Shoppers visit supermarkets primarily for grocery shopping, while a mall is a destination for apparel, electronics, homeware shopping, and may also include cinemas, arcades, and food courts.
Both serve as important retail spaces, but while a supermarket is typically focused on one type of product category, a mall hosts a variety of different retailers.

Comparison Chart


Primarily for grocery and household item shopping
Multiple retail and entertainment options


Single large retail space
Collection of many stores and venues


Food and daily necessities
Diverse shopping and leisure activities


Self-service for purchasing goods
Multiple services, including dining and entertainment


Can be standalone or part of a mall
A centralized complex, often with multiple floors

Supermarket and Mall Definitions


Features self-service and wide aisles.
The supermarket was laid out with wide aisles for easy access to products.


A large complex with many retail stores and restaurants.
They spent the afternoon shopping at the mall.


Offers a variety of brands and products under one roof.
The supermarket carries many international brands that are hard to find elsewhere.


A destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment.
The new movie theater in the mall was showing the latest blockbuster.


Organized into departments for efficient shopping.
He headed to the produce section of the supermarket for fresh fruits and vegetables.


Typically features a centralized layout for various shops.
The mall had a central atrium with a fountain surrounded by shops.


Often includes a bakery, butcher, and deli section.
The supermarket's bakery always has the freshest bread.


Designed for an extensive shopping experience.
The mall is so large, it could take all day to explore every store.


A large store selling foods and household items.
She went to the supermarket to stock up on groceries for the week.


Often includes department stores as anchor tenants.
The department store at the end of the mall is having a huge sale this weekend.


A large self-service retail market that sells food and household goods.


A large, often enclosed shopping complex containing various stores, businesses, and restaurants usually accessible by common passageways.


A street lined with shops and closed to vehicles.


What can you buy at a supermarket?

You can buy groceries, produce, meat, dairy, and other household necessities at a supermarket.

What is a supermarket?

A supermarket is a large retail store selling food and household items.

Do supermarkets have clothing stores?

Supermarkets primarily sell food and household goods, not clothing.

Can a supermarket be in a mall?

Yes, a supermarket can be one of the stores within a mall.

Do malls have grocery stores?

Some malls may include grocery stores or supermarkets.

What is a mall?

A mall is a complex of many retail stores, restaurants, and often entertainment venues under one roof.

What can you do at a mall?

At a mall, you can shop, dine, watch movies, and enjoy various forms of entertainment.

How big is a supermarket?

A supermarket can vary in size but is typically large enough to carry a wide range of products.

Is parking free at supermarkets?

Parking is usually free at supermarkets.

Can you find a pharmacy in a supermarket?

Many supermarkets have an in-store pharmacy.

Is a supermarket considered a mall?

No, a supermarket is a retail store, not a complex of stores like a mall.

How big is a mall?

A mall is usually a large complex with multiple stores and can cover a vast area.

Are supermarkets open as late as malls?

Supermarkets may have different operating hours and could be open later than some mall stores.

Do you need a membership to shop at a mall?

No, malls are open to the public without the need for a membership.

Is parking free at malls?

Parking policies vary; some malls offer free parking while others charge a fee.

Can you find a pharmacy in a mall?

Malls often have pharmacies within their complex.

Do supermarkets have food courts?

Supermarkets do not typically have food courts, but they may have a deli section.

Do malls have supermarkets?

It is possible for malls to have supermarkets as one of their many tenants.

Do you need a membership to shop at a supermarket?

Most supermarkets do not require a membership, but some wholesale supermarkets do.

Can you eat at a supermarket?

Some supermarkets have a seating area for eating, especially if they have a deli or prepared food section.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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