English as an Additional Language/Stores, Shopping and Money
Stores are places that sell things. People go to stores to buy things. There are many different types of stores. Each store sells different things. Some stores sell clothes, others sell electronic equipment, and still others sell food, or toys.
Ways to pay
People use money to pay for things at stores. Cash is a type of money that is very easy to use. Cash includes paper bills and metal coins. In the United States, cash is also called legal tender and is issued by the US Treasury. Another common way to pay for things is with checks. Customers go to banks to open checking accounts, or bank accounts that have checks. Checks are pieces of paper that people give to stores instead of cash. Stores then take the checks to the banks. Then, the banks give the stores money from the bank accounts of their customers. The other main way that people pay for things is with credit cards. A credit card is a piece of plastic that some banks issue to their customers. Customers can use credit cards to buy things more quickly than with checks.
Kinds of stores
Most stores sell new things but some stores sell old or used items. The advantage of buying used things is that they are cheaper (that is, less expensive). In America, stores sell used books, used clothes, used cars and very old used furniture and other things. Very old used things are called antiques.
Stores are usually physical places but are sometimes virtual places. Virtual stores are Internet sites where people can buy things. One of the most famous virtual stores is Amazon.com, a web site that sells books and many other things.
When people go to a store to buy things they say that they are going shopping. When people look for things at a store it is called browsing or window shopping. Sometimes Americans do this as a pleasure activity or to relax. Because of this, people sometimes criticize Americans as being materialistic.
The part of a store where customers pay is called the check-out counter or check-out aisle. There, a clerk helps ring up the products to register their prices. To do this, the clerk uses a cash register. If the cash register is computerized, the clerk uses a scanner to ring up the prices. Paying at the register is also called checking out. Sometimes lines of people at the register are long. When this happens, it takes a lot of time to pay and customers have to wait for several minutes. This can be stressful.
People go to expensive stores to buy luxury items. This makes them feel good. Nice stores like this are often at malls or shopping centers. Rich Americans buy many luxury items, and so do many lower-income Americans, too. The United States is a consumer society, where people use the money that they make to buy more and more consumer products.