Retail Industry Vocabulary

Here we look at many common expressions and vocabulary you might find in the Retail sector.



An ‘own brand’ item is an item packaged and marketed under the brand name of a particular retailer - usually a large supermarket chain, rather than that of the manufacturer.


  1. “I bought cereal today at our local store, and I paid a little less than what I usually pay as it was the store’s own brand. It turned out to be nicer than the popular brand names.”

  2. “We are launching our own brand products for most of our inventory over the next five years. This will eliminate our dead costs, which are paid to manufacturers, and we can look forward to huge expansion in the future.”


This informal noun has several meanings. It can refer to something considerably more expensive than it should be. It can also refer to someone swindling someone out of money by selling them a service or item that either doesn’t fully complete the job agreed; or is not fully functional or perform as described. It can also refer to an inferior imitation or representation of something. In relation to all the above, you can also say that you were ‘ripped off’ by someone.


  1. “I’m not buying that, it’s a rip-off!”

  2. “I bought a tracksuit today in the new outlet in the town. What do you think?” “I like it, but I think it’s a rip-off of the designer one I picked up last month. Look how similar they are.”

  3. “That construction company ripped me off when they never came back to finish the kitchen I paid for.”


This is used when someone pays more than the usual or expected amount for an item or service.


  1. “I shop in that supermarket every week as it’s my local store, but I’m considering going elsewhere after today. I had to pay well over the odds for my grocery shopping. The prices there have nearly doubled!”

  2. “There is a big shopping centre over the other side of town. They have some retail outlets we could go to where we won’t get ripped off and have to pay over the odds for something. Let’s check it out today.”


If someone says that something fits like a glove, they are emphasizing that it fits exactly as it should.


  1. “My boyfriend proposed to me over the weekend. Look at my ring! He also checked my size out, so it fits like a glove. Now I have a wedding to plan for. Yay!”

  2. “This is the only size we have left in that shoe, unfortunately. Try it on and see if it’s okay.” “Oh, yeah. It’s perfect. It fits like a glove.”


A shopaholic is a person addicted to shopping, or someone who excessively obsesses over it.


  1. “Earlier this year, my doctor diagnosed me as a shopaholic. At our appointment, I broke down in tears and explained to him that I couldn’t afford my utility bills and my water was about to be shut off. After a long chat with him, he made me come around to the fact that I spend most of my money on clothes and things I don’t need.”

  2. “I love shopping so much, but I think I’m becoming a shopaholic.” “You know that’s a very real addiction, don’t you?”

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