Is the supermarket, as we know it, ready for the checkout line? No, say specialists in food marketing. But it is does seem to be branching out.
Some chains are going in for one-stop superstores like those of the 1950s and '60s. Besides foods, they offer such items as records and tapes, pharmaceuticals, small appliances, and even clothing.
Other chains, sticking with foods, have been trying no-frills "warehouse stores" --stacking opened cases of cans and packages on plain steel shelving. Still others are combining both trends, opening superstores with warehouse prices.
In all cas es, the idea is to build higher volume -- which the industry regards as the key to survival and growth.m