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What’s the point of “stores”? 
 
hearsay
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After extensive reading of the structure of Magento, I was under the impression that Store Views were primarily for language differences, and that Stores would allow running multiple storefronts with different catalogs and one unified shopping cart and user account. But now that I’m into it, and now that I’ve found this (http://www.magentocommerce.com/blog/comments/multiple-stores-one-checkout-with-magento-you-can/), it appears that to achieve multiple storefronts with exclusive catalogs, I’ll need to make each storefront its own website. So I ask, in this light, what is the point of a “Store” in the Magento setup?

 
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SimpleHelixcom
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I believe *one of the reasons* was so that you don’t get one gigantic list of categories.
It lets you separate your site into multiple stores, (electronics, clothing, dvd)
This way it lets you branch out your categories rather than show all in one place.

 
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hyteckit
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Or you can doing really cool stuff with it like running multiple domains off one installation of Magento.

Amazon.com --> English Store
Amazon.co.uk --> English English Store
Amazon.co.jp --> Japanese Store
Amazon.co.fr --> French Store

Each with their own language, localization, and currency.

Then you have websites, where you sell other stuff.

Website 1 = Sells Baby Stuff
--- Store 1 = English Store
--- Store 2 = French Store
--- Store 3 = German Store

Website 2 = Sells Adult Stuff
--- Store 1 = English Store
--- Store 2 = French Store
--- Store 3 = German Store

 
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SimpleHelixcom
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Hm, yeah that would work, but Isn’t that what, websites was for? 

website = different domain ?

 
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hyteckit
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SimpleHelix.com - 26 August 2008 11:41 PM

Hm, yeah that would work, but Isn’t that what, websites was for? 

website = different domain ?

Stores - generally shares the same domain name or part of the domain name, with a different TLD.  Same brand, same entity.  You want to maintain one brand name.  Good for those who operate one brand for different countries, or those who only have 1 domain name, but want to create a different store within the same domain name in order to improve the shopping experience.  Say, I want to create an Apple Store within my GeekGears.com website, because I want Apple fans to have a different shopping experience cater to them.

Websites - for separate entities, domain names, or brand name.  You want to maintain different brand names or entities.  Say you have one entity for high end electronics and one entity for cheap electronics.  You don’t necessarily want to dilute your high end electronics brand, so you create 2 separate websites, one gear toward expensive electronics for the high end market and another website gear toward cheap electronics for your average consumer.

 
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hearsay
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SimpleHelix.com - 26 August 2008 11:41 PM

Hm, yeah that would work, but Isn’t that what, websites was for? 

website = different domain ?

See what I mean? It’s confusing, and the documentation really needs to go further in explanation the point of a store.

My situation is this: a client has the same line of clothes that come in different colors for different universities. Rather than have the different colors be listed as attributes, we want to provide shoppers from each different university with a different experience. But again, the clothes are the same, just different colors. So while a skirt may be colored “Orange / White” for the University of Tennessee, the same one might be “Crimson / White” for the University of Alabama.

It appeared that I could add the same product to a website and it would appear as “Orange / White” in Tennessee’s store and “Crimson / White” in Alabama’s store, which it does. The problem comes when you look at the shopping cart from any store other than the one in which you originally added the product. The color scheme then appears localized to the current store rather than to the one from which the product was added. I was under the impression that merely changing the way a product was viewed while still being the same product (i.e English or Spanish descriptions, but exact same product) was what using “store view” accomplished. It appears the “store” behaves the same way. Am I missing something here?

 
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