Big-Box stores are often large chain stores and referred to as superstores, megastores, or supercenters.
Big-box stores are usually free standing with flat roofs and steel frames. They are built with concrete walls with metal or masonry exteriors.These stores often have a large floor space, more than 50,000 square feet and are located in rural and suburban areas near freeway interchanges.
General Stores and ‘category killers’
There are generally two types of big-box stores, general stores such as Wal-Mart and Target, and what is known as ‘category killers’; stores like Home Depot and Circuit City. Category killers specialize in a certain type of merchandise such as electronics or home improvement. These so called category killers usually wipe out all the smaller retailers and mom-and-pop operations in the area. For this reason, there is often protests against these category killers in small rural areas. Some towns try their hardest to prevent big box stores from entering. They might be successful at first, but they often end up hurting themselves when the big box store sets up in a nearby town, where it will draw customers and money away from the town of protest.
Big-box stores are popular in the United States, Canada, China, the UK and New Zealand. India is currently experiencing a retail boom, with the introduction of several new retailers and big-box operations.
Some big-box stores are known as hypermarkets, or multi-department stores. This is where the store carries a large variety of goods such as groceries and clothing. This is very similar to a General big-box store.
Hypermarkets are extremely successful and becoming more and more popular.
Another popular big-box store variation is known as a warehouse club where membership is required and good are offered at whole sale prices in large quantities. These stores are often characterized by their warehouse, or their bare concrete feeling.