It's a tradition that began back in the early 1900s with the opening of the nation's first self-service grocery, a Piggly Wiggly in Memphis, Tenn, CBS News correspondent Cynthia Bowers reports.
In 1930, Michael Cullen took things a step further when he introduced the concept of one-stop shopping, opening the nation's first supermarket in Queens, New York.
By the end of the decade, a competitor, the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea company had spread the idea across the country and went on to become fifth-largest corporation in America.
Generations of Americans could no more envision life without supermarkets than they could Thanksgiving dinner without all the trimmings.
But today that's all changing.
A recent CBS News poll showedat a low price mega-store, such as Target, Costco or Wal-Mart in the last month.
Consider that $.15 on every grocery dollar is now being spent at Wal-Mart.
It's a growing trend that is threatening the shelf life of the traditional grocery store. Over the last two decades, an estimated 10,000 have shut their doors: Winn-Dixie is in bankruptcy, Albertson's is on the auction block.