Supermarket Empire is a semi-idle business simulation game that asks a player to learn some of the challenges of opening and growing a supermarket. The player starts as a yellow stickman avatar performing every retail task, including stocking display cases and running the cash register. They must keep an accounting of their revenues and eventually hire employees, add more displays and open up new areas of the building.
The player starts with tomatoes they gather from crates on the dock near an open produce truck. They initially receive a limited capacity for carrying the produce. As a result, they must direct their avatar to run back to the dock often to replenish the displays. They also must fill multiple displays because customers don't automatically go to a full one. A customer picks a display case and waits for the player to fill it. Once a customer has their desired product, the player must direct their avatar to stand at a precise spot next to the cash wrap to finish the transaction and collect the cash.
Over time, Supermarket Empire allows the player to expand production and merchandise. They unlock trucks to reveal watermelons, frozen fish, beverages, canned soup and other items. Any hired workers, which include a cashier and general stock clerks, perform some duties automatically. That said, they carry little at first and fall asleep on the job. The player must pay to increase their carrying capacity and wake them.