Skip to main content

Sample discussion essay



Describe the best way for a supermarket or a store to become successful and to expand its business, and make a large profit. You may refer to examples of a supermarket or a store known to you.

by Miao Wang (Vanessa)

Copied with permission of the author


Everyone needs to buy things in order to live, and everyone likes to get things as conveniently and cheaply as possible. For this reason, there are many supermarkets or stores appearing. However, getting into the supermarket business can be difficult, so I have written some ideas to make a supermarket become successful and make a large profit. [comment 1] 


The first aspect to be discussed is that of good service. Firstly, the correct attitude in attending to customers is very important. Attendants should always smile to customers, no matter whether the customer is right or wrong. When customers ask where they can find things, attendants should not only show the way, but also they should go and get things for the customers. Secondly, a supermarket needs to provide good after-sales service. For example, when customers buy big and heavy items, they cannot carry them by themselves; the supermarket should thus help them take the items to the right places free of charge. If the place is too far away, the supermarket could ask the customer to contribute some money. [comment 2] 


A further aspect to be considered is the need for good products. In my opinion, when a supermarket is stocked with goods, it should check the sell-by date of goods, and make sure all of them are fresh and have good quality. What is more, a successful supermarket has many different kinds of goods, and its prices are balanced. For instance, TESCO, which is a successful supermarket in Britain, has balanced prices. In the supermarket, items have different prices on one price tag: one referring to TESCO, the others from other supermarkets. When customers buy items, they can thus compare prices, in order to choose the best ones to buy. Moreover, a supermarket should update goods quickly in order to make sure they are fresh. [comment 3] 


While a supermarket needs to do things for customers, it also needs to expand its business and make a large profit. In my opinion, first of all, the store should learn about the customers that it wants to provide goods to. The supermarket should check whether customers look for low prices or a certain type of good. Secondly, a supermarket should be well situated, and have pleasant surroundings. For example, a supermarket can be built in a place with a park nearby, and with many trees. This kind of location could make customers feel comfortable. Moreover, it should have a car park which is big enough, and the car parking should be free. When customers get into the supermarket there should be soft music, and all goods should be divided into different kinds to put in order. Customers can pick up things that they want very easily. A supermarket may also use good IT systems. For instance, customers might find things on the internet and know where they are, then pick them up quickly. Thirdly, a successful supermarket should know other supermarkets well. It can send its own employees to research the others’ information, such as price, types of advertisement, discounts and sales ploys. Fourthly, a supermarket can have its own brand products and diversify in order to expand its business. For example, TESCO is not only a supermarket, but has its own mobile. Furthermore, it can have its own club to attract customers to join in.[comment 4] 


In a nutshell, a successful supermarket is difficult to manage. It needs good service, good products, and good ideas to expand its business and make a large profit. [comment 5] 



[comment 1] In this paragraph, the writer has indicated the importance of the topic and has given a statement, using the first person pronoun, of what she will be doing in the essay.
[comment 2] This is the first main paragraph. Here the student focuses on the aspect of customer service. Notice the use of the topic sentence: “The first aspect to be discussed is that of good service”. This provides a key to the content of the paragraph.
[comment 3] This second main paragraph concerns the need for supermarkets to have good quality products. Notice again that here, the student groups all the ideas into a single paragraph, and that she writes a topic sentence at the start of the paragraph: "A further aspect to be considered is the need for good products." The writer is not afraid to show her own personality: “In my opinion….”, etc.
[comment 4] This paragraph now moves on to consider how a supermarket can make a profit. Several ideas are given. Notice how sequencers are used: “firstly…”, “secondly…”, thirdly...”, etc.
  [comment 5] This paragraph provides a brief conclusion to the writing. Notice the idiomatic use of the expression “In a nutshell”. The conclusion only needs to be brief – there is no need to restate everything that has been said before.





The text was prepared by Dr Gerard Sharpling