Shopping and services topic
Typ práce: Maturita
Počet zobrazení: 70
Shopping and services topic
Shopping is an activity that is enjoyed by many people around the world. There are also people who hate shopping and say that it is a waste of time. But whether people like shopping or not, they have to go to a shop, more or less frequently, to buy what they need because shopping is a necessity.
When people talk about modern life, they often use the words “consumer society”. A consumer is someone who uses a product. A consumer society is a society in which material goods are very important, and in which the consumers themselves are very important and have a lot power. People seem to have not only more money to spend but also less time to spend it. This is reflected in people’s habits and the things they buy.
In the past, people would shop more often for staple food such as fruit, vegetables, meat and bread. They would buy these in local shops in the town or village where they lived and carry the home in bags. Other things such as newspapers and magazines, cigarettes, sweet and mil could be bought even closer to home at the nearest corner shop.
Today, many families have a big freezer at home and a microwave. Ready prepared meals such as pizza pies and many other dishes which can be taken out of the freezer, heated up and ready to eat in just a few minutes, are becoming more and more popular with people who do not have time to cook. Even people who do cook for themselves often use a lot of frozen or tinned vegetables. All this means that these is a growing trend for people to go shopping less often and to fill their cars with food to last all week or in some cases most of the month.
There are two main types of shops: those that are part of a chain or a group, and those that are individually owned. Large cities also have large department stores and huge shopping malls.
The individual shops sell goods that are also available in larger stores, but often pride themselves on the quality of their goods and service. Typical examples of such shops are clothes shop, grocery, florist's, dairy, bakery, butcher's, chemist’s, confectioner's, fishmonger's, clothier's, hatter's, shoe shop, bookshop, stationery, jeweller's, ironmonger, greengrocer's, glassware, toyshop, newsagent’s, gift shop, pet shop and boutique.
At the grocer's people can buy food-stuff including flour, sugar, salt, eggs, vegetable, oil, stewed fruit, various kinds of tea and coffee, bottled beer and juice, sweets, chocolate, frozen and tinned vegetables and fruit. There are also dairy products such as milk, butter, cream, cheese and yoghurt.
At the baker's various kinds of fresh bread, rolls, buns and cakes can be bought.
The butcher sells meat including pork, beef, lamb and poultry. Here we can buy smoked meat products such as bacon, ham, sausages and frankfurters. At the butcher’s people can also buy tinned and frozen meat and fish.
People, who like to go gardening and some do-it-yourself work around the house, frequently need some hardware. They can go to the ironmonger’s to buy hammer, pliers, nails and other tools and materials.
At the stationer's writing paper, envelopes, notebooks, pens, ball-point pens, pencils, crayons, glue, rubber, rulers, and compasses are kept. All the things needed by school children can be bought here.
Fresh vegetables and all kinds of fruit can be bought at the greengrocer's and fruiterer's.
The chemist’s is a specialized shop where people can buy medicines. In Britain the chemist also keeps cosmetics and toilet supplies such as make-ups, shaving-cream, razor blades, shampoo, soap and tooth-brushes.
Boutiques sell the latest fashion. Here especially the young people have a wide choice of dresses, shirts, skirts - plain and pleated, blouses - made of cotton or silk, pullovers including the fashionable polo-neck pullovers, blue jeans, but also stockings and scarves. Some of the boutiques also offer leather goods such as leather jackets, shoes, bags and leather belts.
Whenever the customers enter they are attended by shop assistants who are ready to help them: What can I do for you? Can I help you? What will you have? Is anyone serving you? What can I show you? Are you being served? These are the most questions heard in shops since morning till late evening.
Nowadays more and more customers prefer shopping in large department stores with self-service, where everything can be found under one roof, to shopping in small specialized shops. But with so many people using the supermarkets and hypermarkets, the smaller shops are finding it very difficult to compete. These shops cannot afford to stock such a wide range of products as the supermarkets and neither can they afford to sell things as cheaply as the supermarkets. However, they do have advantages of their own. For example, old people living alone without cars do not need to buy so much food as young families, and it is not very easy for them to travel to a supermarket, it is much easier for them to use small local shop. Children who want sweets, or anyone who wants a magazine or has forgotten to buy something on their shopping trip to the supermarket, find their local shops very useful, especially corner shop which are often open much longer hours than ordinary shops.
Many people prefer shopping at the market with number of stalls selling flowers, fresh fruit and vegetable.
Many people like to go shopping to department stores. The department stores are large buildings usually several storeys high. They have many departments which offer their customers all kinds of foodstuff, clothes, shoes, toys, sporting goods, leather goods, cleaning supplies and cosmetics, china and glass, hardware goods, household appliances, books, stationary and furniture, all under one roof. Nearly all the big department stores have cafés, snack bars or restaurants where people can relax when they are tired of shopping. The big department stores started in America and the idea was brought to England by Gordon Selfridges some 80 years ago. Selfridge’s is still one of the biggest stores in London. It is situated in the Oxford Street in the centre of the West End.
The largest type of shops is called a hypermarket. It is usually situated outside a town, where there is a large car park. Many hypermarkets have cash dispensers, petrol pumps and a café. Because hypermarkets are so big, you can find there everything under one roof and moreover, they are able to lower the prices quite a lot, making them cheaper than smaller shops. In fact many supermarket and hypermarkets have their own brands of the most common food products which are cheaper still. Then there is the handiness of not having to carry heavy bags of shopping along crowded streets but simply being able to unload them from the trolley into the boot of the car a few metres away.
Shopping malls often offer additional services, like a post office, banks offering loans and insurance and tourist agencies. They also have restaurants and cafés when you can relax after finishing up your shopping. Some even have large cinemas, and some people only go to the mall to see films.
There are two types of payment methods; exchanging and provisioning. Exchanging involves the use of money, comprising banknotes and coins. Provisioning involves the transfer of money from one account to another, and involves a third party. Credit card, debit card, cheque, money transfers, and recurring cash or ACH (Automated Clearing House) disbursements are all electronic payments methods. Electronic payments technologies include magnetic stripe cards, smartcards, contactless cards, and mobile payments.
The cheapest and the simplest way to buy something is to walk into a shop and pay cash, but if you want to buy some big expensive item, like a hi-fi set or a colour television, you might not have enough money to pay cash. In this case you can arrange to purchase the goods on HP. Of course buying things this way is a little more complicated and expensive than paying cash. You will have to fill in a form giving details of your salary and place of work and stating how long you have lived at your present address. Then you will have to pay deposit. This might be 10% or 20% of the full price.
However, if you find saving money a problem, the fact that you have to pay your instalments every month can be very helpful, and remember, the bigger your deposit and the more money you can afford each month, the quicker you will pay off your debt and the less your purchase will finally cost you.
Many people who feel that they don’t have time to go shopping, choose products from catalogues or they prefer shopping over internet. Services are in our life very important too. It’s a system, which provides something that the public needs. It’s organized by the government or private company. We know many types of services like banks, posts, police station and others.
Provides financial services for people. We can pay for goods and services in cash or by bank card. In Slovakia it is less common to pay be cheque. Each bank has a cash dispenser and we can withdraw our money any time we want. People usually do this through a cash machine, using a bank card. The machine displays the balance of the account. It is possible to exceed this amount up to an agreed overdraft limit. Most people use their accounts to pay their bills. If the payments are regular, you can ask for a standing order. Bank transfer using the Internet banking service is becoming popular in our country. We may also have a saving account where we deposit any extra money that we want to save. If we need to borrow money, the bank may give us a loan. If the bank lends us money for building a house, the money is called a mortgage. When we buy something in a shop, we can buy it on credit. The money that we pay for services, for example to a school or a lawyer, is usually called a fee.
Almost everybody uses the services of a post office. The post distributes letters, postcards and telegrams. When we want to send an important document, we send a registered letter or parcel. When we send a letter abroad, we can also use airmail. If the post cannot deliver a letter or parcel for whatever reason, it is sent back to the sender. We can also use the postal services to send money. In this case we have to fill in a postal order. The Internet age, people used to send many letters and postcards by post. When they wanted to send a quick note, they sent a telegram. Nowadays, these are gradually being replaced by e-mail letters.
They are in charge of maintaining law and order and protecting the citizens. In Slovakia the police force is divided into two groups, the city and the state police. City police discipline people who behave badly, such as drunkards or drug addicts. They also fine drivers for bad parking or involved in a car accident, they usually address the state police. For more difficult and serious cases the state police is called. At the police station people can also get new identity cards or passports.
Advertisement is part of our everyday life even in the case we don´t own TV or other mean of mass media. Because there are also billboards, magazines and flyers, so it seems it´s impossible to avoid being involved in this process of advertising because we are part of 21th century.
Advertising in the media has an enormous impact on people. When a company introduces a new product or service, they usually do a promotion. In general, publicity has a great impact on people. We have learn to be more selective and care more about the quality, although price is still a very important factor in Slovakia. Advertising agencies try to use more and more sophisticated techniques to make us buy a product or use a services. Sometimes we do not even realise that a product or a company is advertised, for example in a movie. But a good commercial also can help you in choice of better café or restaurant.
Since Slovakia became an independent state in 1993, it has had a trade deficit, meaning that it imports more than it exports. The former Czechoslovak state also consistently registered a negative trade balance between 1975 and its separation into the Czech and Slovak Republics. In 1999, it exported US$11.2 billion worth of goods and services while importing US$10.1 billion.
Slovakia's primary industrial exports are various manufactured goods, among them metal products and wood products, such as paper, as well as machinery and transport equipment. In 1998, these categories comprised 43 percent and 37 percent of all commodity exports, respectively. Other significant exported commodities were chemicals, which made up 9 percent, and raw materials, which amounted to 4 percent. Of the EU countries, Germany and Austria are the primary consumers of Slovak exports (at 29 and 7 percent of exports, respectively), but the Czech Republic (with 20 percent) also consumes a significant volume of Slovak products. Some 40 percent of all of Slovakia's imports for 1998 were classified as machinery and transport equipment. Other imports included intermediate and miscellaneous manufactured goods, which comprised 28 percent of imports, chemicals (11 percent), and fuels (11 percent), although increasing fuel demand makes this a rapidly-growing import sector. The primary sources of imports from EU countries are Germany (26 percent) and Italy (6 percent), with the Czech Republic (18 percent) and Russia (10 percent) also serving as important importers.
In the early 1990s, the Czechoslovak state made a concentrated effort to shift trade away from the former Soviet Union and former Soviet Bloc countries and to the European Union and the United States. In contrast to the previous Slovak government, the government elected in 1998 began to actively encourage this shift in an effort to improve the country's chances for entry into the European Union. Trading patterns now show increased volume in trade with the European Union and the United States and decreased volume with other eastern European countries and the former Soviet Union. As one result of this shift, trade with the Czech Republic has been in decline, in spite of a favourable customs union between the 2 countries. The Czech Republic made up 39 percent of Slovakia's foreign trade turnover in 1993, but, by 1999, it was about half that (18 percent). Both countries have instead been registering increased trade with the European Union, which now accounts for approximately 56 percent of Slovakia's foreign trade.
Most people in Slovakia are proud on the quality of goods that are produced here. After many quality problems with imported goods (mainly food) the Slovak people began shifting to Slovak-made is the best psychology. With food I would totally agree, Slovak food is often top quality and of course, buying local products boosts economy.
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