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Is 売店 more used for smaller stuff, like a stand? I'm finding it hard to pinpoint the exact difference.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

You guessed it. 大辞林 has

商店
商品を売る店。

i.e. a shop selling consumer goods. E.g. a clothes shop:

洋服店

売店
物を売る店。特に、病院・劇場・遊園地などの施設内の小さな店。

i.e. a stand selling things. In particular, a small stand/shop in hospitals, theatres, amusement parks or other facilities. E.g. a 売店 in a train station:

売店

In other words, a 商店's main business comes from their goods; a 売店's business comes from their location within some facility.

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So could a somewhat large 商店 contain one or more 売店? I'm thinking kind of like a "one-building mini mall", where the main store is either grocery and/or home furnishing, with several smaller, unrelated stores (cell phone carrier, independent bakery, etc.) near the front. –  istrasci Jun 17 '13 at 14:48
    
I would say yes, in principle, but I guess the boundaries are not well-defined. I would say that a 売店 can exist in a 商店街, but it is not clear when a shop should be considered not a 売店 in a 商店街, but a 商店 in its own right... For the example you give, a cell phone carrier sounds less like a 売店, because 売店 usually sell items that visitors always need. Cell phones are not like ice cream or the like in that you don't buy cell phones just because you just came across a little cell phone stand. (That'd be different for the cell phone covers, though.) –  Earthliŋ Jun 17 '13 at 14:54
    
A normal bakery selling bread for eating at home would in my opinion also be 商店. If they sell snacks, cake etc. only for eating as you stroll the supermarket, then 売店 might be appropriate as well... –  Earthliŋ Jun 17 '13 at 14:55
    
ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%A3%B2%E5%BA%97 参考になるかどうかわかりませんが・・・ –  Chocolate Jun 17 '13 at 16:01
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There are 商店 all over where I live in the inaka and they're just little mom and pop stores with miscellaneous food and drink items plus some other basic necessities. Those are the only kinds of places I ever really see labeled 商店. Think of 売店 as like a kiosk. –  ssb Jun 17 '13 at 16:39
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