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Open air, public markets were known in ancient Babylonia, Assyria, Phoenicia and Egypt.These markets typically occupied a place in the town's centre.Sometimes a shopping street has a partial or full roof to create a more comfortable shopping environment – protecting customers from various types of weather conditions such as extreme temperatures, winds or precipitation.Forms of non-shop retailing include online retailing (a type of electronic-commerce used for business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions) and mail order.
In the digital age, an increasing number of retailers are seeking to reach broader markets by selling through multiple channels, including both bricks and mortar and online retailing.Surrounding the market, skilled artisans, such as metal-workers and leather workers, occupied permanent premises in alleys that led to the open market-place.These artisans may have sold wares directly from their premises, but also prepared goods for sale on market days.As civilizations grew, barter was replaced with retail trade involving coinage.
Selling and buying is thought to have emerged in Asia Minor (modern Turkey) in around the 7th millennium BCE.
Retail comes from the Old French word tailler, which means "to cut off, clip, pare, divide" in terms of tailoring (1365).