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Key Difference – Convenience Store vs Grocery Store

 Convenience store and grocery store are two types of retail stores that stock food and other household items. Although these two names are often used interchangeably, there are some subtle differences between the two. The main difference between convenience store and grocery store is the type of food they sell; convenience stores sell staple food that is packaged whereas grocery stores sell fresh produce such as fruits, vegetables, and meat.

What is a Convenience Store?

A convince store is a small retail shop that sells everyday items such as food and household items. Some products that may be available in a convenience store includes groceries, confectionery, snacks, soft drinks, toiletries, tobacco products, over-the-counter drugs, newspapers, and magazines. Some convenience stores may also sell alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer, but the selection will be limited.  In fact, the choice is limited regarding all goods available in convenience stores. This is because convenience stores only have a small number of brands. The prices in a convenience store may also be higher than the prices in a supermarket as the store owners buy smaller quantities of inventory at higher per-unit prices from wholesalers.

A convenience store may be a convenient supplement to a bigger store or a part of a gas station so that the customers can buy food and other essential items while stopping to buy other things. Convenience stores may be found near a railway station, bus station or along a busy road. These stores are usually open for long hours; in some countries, convenience stores may stay open for 24 hours.

Key Difference - Convenience Store vs Grocery Store

A convenience store in Canada

What is a Grocery Store?

A grocery store or a grocery is also a retail shop that sells food items and various household items. The term grocery, however, is typically associated with food items. Grocery stores stock fresh produce, bakeries, delis, butchers, as well as non-perishable food that are packaged in boxes, cans, and bottles. Large grocery stores sell a large number of household items and clothing as well. Small grocery stores that primarily sells fresh vegetables and fruits are known as greengrocers (UK) or produce markets (US). In some countries, the term grocery is used to describe convenience stores and supermarkets.

The term grocery comes from grocer – the person who sells foodstuffs and various household supplies. Grocery stores used to be a common sight in every town and village. However, with the advent of supermarkets and department stores, people have become used to buying all their goods in one place. You might have also noticed that some supermarkets have separate sections called grocery.

Difference Between Convenience Store and Grocery Store

A grocery Store in India

What is the difference between Convenience Store and Grocery Store?


Convenience Store: A convenience store is “a small retail store that is open long hours and that typically sells staple groceries, snacks, and beverage” (American Heritage Dictionary).

Grocery Store: Grocery store is “a store selling foodstuffs and various household supplies” (American Heritage Dictionary).

Fresh Produce:

Convenience Store: Convenience stores usually do not stock fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables.

Grocery Store: Grocery stores stock fresh products such as vegetables, fruits, and meat.


Convenience Store: Convenience stores are typically smaller than grocery stores.

Grocery Store: Grocery stores tend to be larger than convenience stores.

Opening Hours:

Convenience Store: Convenience stores are open for long hours, sometimes 24 hours.

Grocery Store: Grocery stores may not be open at late night and early morning. 


Convenience Store: Convenience stores are a relatively new concept.

Grocery Store: Grocery stores have existed for centuries.

Image Courtesy:

“Needs convenience store. Sobeys gas bar. Moncton NB 6974” By Myke2020 – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia

 “Taliparamba grocery” By Shareef Taliparamba – Grocery (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia