Commissary - Term Overview

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The commissary is a kind of supermarket or establishment in which the people of a certain group can go and buy products at a lower price than those offered in a regular market.

The groups, as we have commented, can be of various kinds: from workers who work in the same company, prisoners in a jail, unionized, military, etc. The commissary is a non-profit entity, so the few profits that are made are destined to the maintenance of the premises or to cover minimum expenses.

The stores, nowadays, tend to be more aimed at the most disadvantaged population or those who have low resources. They are offered products and goods necessary for their day to day at a much lower price than the market.

Types of commissary

Depending on the financing we find two types of commissary: ​​private and public

Public commissars

Public commissars are those financed by the state and are usually more intended for civil servants. Sometimes the stores can function as transportation and education, being able to access lower prices than citizens who aren't civil servants.

Private commissars

These types of stores are organized by large companies, which try to improve the living conditions of some workers by providing them with basic necessities at favorable conditions and at a good price.

In addition to the financing of stores and as a plan for a policy of industrial paternalism, houses or schools were built, as well as spaces for primary needs that help the workers of a certain company to live in a simpler way.

Finally, we will say that some stores are financed with the help of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and, sometimes, with the help of the State to finance private stores.

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