What do you call the establishment where you buy things, like on the picture?

picture of a store will good stocked on shelves behind a counter with a clerk

Should I call it shop, store or market? I am in total confusion. I am asking for a generic term for a place where they sell things (maybe non-edible), not just a place where only food and drinks are sold.


3 Answers 3


In American English, it would usually be called a convenience store.

A convenience store is a small retail business that stocks a range of everyday items such as groceries, snack foods, confectionery, soft drinks, tobacco products, over-the-counter drugs, toiletries, newspapers, and magazines.

  • What is the generic term for such business, small or big and selling different things (say, clothing or toys)?
    – Anixx
    Dec 23, 2016 at 9:46
  • For instance, I heard about "sex-shop" but what about "sex-store"? What about other types of goods?
    – Anixx
    Dec 23, 2016 at 9:48
  • I would say that in the US, generally speaking, you are more likely to use/hear store. But other words exist, like shop and boutique. I feel like those are used for specialty stores. Usually, they are called "sex shops" as far as I know (although there are some results online for "sex store"). I can't really think of any other examples like that one. "Coffee shop" is a good one to know.
    – Em.
    Dec 23, 2016 at 9:58
  • 2
    @Anixx Asking for lists is off-topic. However, Macmillan has a useful list of shop types. Note that some terms, such as victualler, are archaic.
    – Mick
    Dec 23, 2016 at 10:10
  • @Mick shop types or store types? What is the generic term?
    – Anixx
    Dec 23, 2016 at 12:30

In British English, this would be a shop; an establishment where goods are sold retail. Specifically, it looks like a "corner shop", so called because they are often sited on street corners in residential areas. If you search for images of "corner shop" on Google you will get a lot more examples.

A "store" is the American English equivalent of "shop".

A "market" is a collection of independent stalls within a defined area. In some cases this is within a large open indoor space, and in others it is out of doors. Each stallholder rents a few square yards/meters from the owner of the space, and can then put up tables and awnings and display their goods. The main distinction between "shop" and "stall" is that a shop is permanent whereas a stall is temporary. Again, if you google for images of "market" you will get some good examples.

Note that "supermarket" is not the same as a "market". A supermarket is just a very large shop offering a wide variety of goods. It is not a "market" in the sense described above.


corner store, convenience store, if it also sold newspapers it would be a newsagent, if it sold hardware as well it would be a general store, if it sold booze it would an off licence - and if it was in Royston Vassey it would be a local shop for local people!

  • 'shops' provide service (workshop, bodyshop etc) but may also sell thier wares, A store sells items and also carry stock or inventory( thats where the 'store' comes in - they also store stuff. Amarket denotes sale of items by multiple vendors. A shop may also be differentiated from store by its reduced inventory.. You would,nt expect a local shop to carry a large range and stock - where a store would.
    – user50123
    Feb 24, 2017 at 12:46
  • 1
    Maybe some regional differences. In the US, the term would be "news stand" rather than "newsagent" (which, if that term was used at all, people would assume referred to a broker who manages subscriptions to news stands). :-)
    – fixer1234
    Feb 24, 2017 at 18:52

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