Distinguishing Between Convenience Stores & Grocery Stores

Key Takeaways

  • Convenience stores sell packaged staple foods, while grocery stores sell fresh produce such as fruits, vegetables, and meat
  • Convenience stores are typically smaller and have limited brand choices, while grocery stores tend to be larger and offer a wider variety of products
  • Convenience stores are often open for longer hours, sometimes 24/7, while grocery stores may have more limited operating hours

Key Difference – Convenience Store vs Grocery Store

Convenience stores and grocery stores are both retail establishments that offer food and household items for sale. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, there are some notable differences between the two. The primary distinction lies in the types of food they sell; while convenience stores offer packaged staple foods, grocery stores provide fresh produce such as fruits, vegetables, and meat.

What is a Convenience Store?

A convenience store is a small retail shop that sells everyday items like food and household supplies. Products available at convenience stores may include groceries, confectionery, snacks, soft drinks, toiletries, tobacco products, over-the-counter drugs, newspapers, and magazines. Some convenience stores may also carry a limited selection of alcoholic beverages, such as wine and beer. In general, the product choices in convenience stores are limited, as they typically offer a smaller selection of brands. Prices in convenience stores may be higher than in supermarkets due to the store owners purchasing smaller quantities of inventory at higher per-unit costs from wholesalers.

Convenience stores may serve as a supplementary option to larger stores or be part of a gas station, allowing customers to purchase food and other essentials while stopping for other items. These stores are often located near railway stations, bus stations, or along busy roads and are usually open for extended hours. In some countries, convenience stores may even remain open 24 hours a day.

What is a Grocery Store?

A grocery store is another type of retail shop that sells food items and various household supplies. However, the term “grocery” is typically associated with food items. Grocery stores offer fresh produce, bakeries, delis, butchers, as well as non-perishable packaged foods in boxes, cans, and bottles. Larger grocery stores may also carry a variety of household items and clothing. Smaller grocery stores that primarily sell fresh vegetables and fruits are known as greengrocers in the UK or produce markets in the US. In some countries, the term “grocery” is used interchangeably with convenience stores and supermarkets.

The term “grocery” originates from the word “grocer,” which refers to a person who sells foodstuffs and various household supplies. Grocery stores used to be a common sight in every town and village but have become less prevalent with the advent of supermarkets and department stores. Some supermarkets even include separate sections labeled as groceries.

What is the difference between Convenience Store and Grocery Store?


  • Convenience Store: The American Heritage Dictionary defines a convenience store as “a small retail store that is open long hours and that typically sells staple groceries, snacks, and beverages.”
  • Grocery Store: According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a grocery store is “a store selling foodstuffs and various household supplies.”

Fresh Produce:

  • Convenience Store: Convenience stores usually do not stock fresh produce, such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Grocery Store: Grocery stores carry fresh products, including vegetables, fruits, and meat.


  • Convenience Store: Convenience stores are generally smaller than grocery stores.
  • Grocery Store: Grocery stores are typically larger than convenience stores.

Opening Hours:

  • Convenience Store: Convenience stores often have longer operating hours, sometimes staying open 24 hours a day.
  • Grocery Store: Grocery stores may not be open during late-night or early-morning hours.


  • Convenience Store: Convenience stores are a relatively new concept.
  • Grocery Store: Grocery stores have been in existence for centuries.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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