Traditional supermarkets in many countries face intense competition from discounters such as Wal-Mart, and Tesco in the UK, which typically are non- union and operate with better buying power. Other competition exists from warehouse clubs such as Costco that offer savings to customers buying in bulk quantities. Superstores , such as those operated by Wal-Mart and Asda, often offer a wide range of goods and services in addition to foods. The proliferation of such warehouse and superstores has contributed to the continuing disappearance of smaller, local grocery stores; increased dependence on the automobile ; suburban sprawl because of the necessity for large floorspace and increased vehicular traffic. For example, in 2009 51% of Wal-Mart 's $251 Billion domestic sales were recorded from grocery goods.  Some critics consider the chains' common practice of selling loss leaders to be anti-competitive. They are also wary of the negotiating power that large, often multinational have with suppliers around the world. [ citation needed ]
This is critical! A 2008 study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that consumers, even when on a tight budget, are more likely to spend more if their appetites are stimulated before making a purchase. The study tested the reactions of women shoppers to a hidden chocolate chip cookie–scented candle in the room. Nearly 70 percent who got a whiff of the cookie scent said they would buy a new sweater even though they were on a tight budget, compared with only 17 percent of those who weren’t exposed to the cookie smell. You just know the guys who run the bake shop at the supermarket have read this study too!