appliance/electronical appliance/electronic

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France, French

How would you call a shop where you can buy microwaves, fridges, etc.?

An appliance shop.
An electronical appliance shop.
An electronic shop.

Thank you
  • cyberpedant

    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    In the US you can buy microwaves, fridges, etc., at almost any "big box" store, and we usually identify them by their corporate name: K Mart, Walmart, Central Radio, for example. The generic term "appliance store" works if you're looking for one.


    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The really easy one first - definitely not electronical shop. I don't think you'll find a dictionary definition for electronical.
    The easy one next - not electronic shop. That suggests that the shop itself is electronic, not the goods it sells. A shop that sells electronic goods might be an electronics shop.
    That leaves an appliance shop. Unfortunately I don't know what kind of appliances it sells - they could be surgical appliances :)

    Now, what on earth would I call the place I would go to buy microwaves, etc.
    In real life, I call it by the name above the door, whether that happens to be one of the big national chains or the local Sam's Yer Man.
    If I have to generalise, I would call it an electrical appliance shop or store.

    I have heard the term white goods store - these things are mostly white - but it's not something that would come naturally to me.


    France, French
    I didn't think about K Mart and others, but as the text is for Spanish students, I think I should keep it general and chose to use "appliance store".
    Thanx for your help Cyberpedant.


    France, French
    I have heard the term white goods store - these things are mostly white - but it's not something that would come naturally to me.
    Thanx for your explanation, it is quite detailed.
    Referring to the "white goods store", I think it's quite funny but won't fit in my text. :D


    Senior Member
    USA, English
    In my mind, "electric" and "electronic" have different meanings.

    A fan, toaster, blender, etc., are electric appliances. That is they use simple electric motors and heating elements.

    A stereo, microwave, television, etc., are electronic appliances. That is they use transistors, memory, and other sophisticated electronic components.

    I am not sure that there is any concensus on this point however.


    Senior Member
    USA - English
    I would buy refrigerators and dishwashers at an "appliance" store.

    A store that sold radios, I-pods, calculators, and similar items would to me be an electronics store, with that "s" on the end of electronics.
    White goods for kitchen/household appliances (and to a much lesser extent, black goods for room ones) is very commonly used, especially in trade and marketing context.

    Electronics would not, normally, cover the white goods. It would cover IT equipment.

    Electricals is used quite often (online retailers are often called something electricals and covers both small appliances (eg hair-driers, toasters, fans) white goods (washing machines, fridges, tumble driers, dishwashers, microwaves) and audio/video and possibly gaming equipment, but probably not strictly IT goods (PCs, printers etc).

    A google suggests it's mainly a UK usage, as out of 4 million mentions, over 3 were from UK sites.

    However, electricals store sounds very strange. It doesn't seem to collocate with store very well.
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