Read the text "Shops in Britain".
In all big cities of Great Britain there are a lot of department stores. They are big shops where you can find almost everything you want and which offer a wide choice of things. The most famous British department store, Harrods, started as a small grocery shop in 1849. The present store has more than 300 departments and a staff of over 4,000 people. The display in the food hall is amazing. For example, there is a choice of over 500 types of cheese.
Street markets are both fun and cheap. Most markets sell fruit and vegetables, clothes, things for the house, records and jewellery. In London there are about 40 or 50 markets. Some specialize in flowers, pets or secondhand books.
In the centre of most towns and villages there is a main street with lots of different shops. This street is usually called the High Street. The high streets of Britain are beginning to look more and more the same. This is because they are full of branches of big chain stores.
One of the best-known chain stores is Marks & Spencer, which sells clothes and food. The company has over 700 stores worldwide and has a reputation for good quality. If you buy something that you decide you don’t like, you can take it back and get your money back.
Some towns are called market towns: a market is held there, usually once a week. People come from the surrounding villages to do shopping there.
Eighty-seven per cent of British people live less than a mile from their local corner shop. A corner shop is a small shop on, or near, a street corner. Only in corner shops do shopkeepers know their customers personally. Only in them is the interaction across the counter often social as well as transactional. Many corner shops are run by Indian or Pakistan families. Most corner shops sell food and newspapers. They are open until late in the evening, as well as on Sundays.
However, many small high-street and corner shops are closing because people prefer to drive to a shopping complex outside town. There they can park their cars without any problems and do all the shopping in one place.
In a British shopping complex you usually find a supermarket, a branch of most of the chain stores, some smaller shops, a few cafes and sometimes a multiscreen cinema. Most of the new shopping complexes are built near big roads, outside town.
Here you also find “superstores”. These enormous shops sell their products more cheaply than in the high-street shops. Many of the superstores are branches of chain stores from countries outside Britain, such as IKEA or Aldi. However, this trend has not gone as far as it has in some other European countries.
The normal time for shops to open is nine in the morning. Most small shops take a break for lunch, usually between one and two, and then close at half past five or a bit later. Large out of own supermarkets stay open all day until about eight o’clock.
Write four words into each gap.
1. The company has over 700 stores worldwide and has quality.
2. Only in them is the often social as well as transactional.
3. Most small for lunch, usually between one and two, and then close at half past five or a bit later.