Important shifts included the marketing of goods for individuals as opposed to items for the household, and the new status of goods as status symbols, related to changes in fashion and desired for aesthetic appeal, as opposed to just their utility.

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For example, research from a field experiment found that male and female shoppers who were accidentally touched from behind by other shoppers left a store earlier than people who had not been touched and evaluated brands more negatively, resulting in the Accidental Interpersonal Touch effect.

In ancient Greece, the agora served as a marketplace where merchants kept stalls or shops to sell their goods.

Department stores were established on a large scale from the 1840s and 50s, in France, the United Kingdom and the US A larger commercial zone can be found in many cities, more formally called a central business district, but more commonly called "downtown" in the United States, or in Arab cities, souks.

Shopping hubs, or shopping centers, are collections of stores; that is a grouping of several businesses.

Shopping lists are known to have been used by Romans, as one was discovered near Hadrian's wall dated back to 75–125 CE written for a soldier.

The modern phenomenon of shopping is closely linked to the emergence of the consumer society in the 18th century.

Retailer Francis Place was one of the first to experiment with this new retailing method at his tailoring establishment in Charing Cross, where he fitted the shop-front with large plate glass windows.

Although this was condemned by many, he defended his practice in his memoirs, claiming that he: Retailers designed attractive shop fronts to entice patronage, using bright lights, advertisements and attractively arranged goods.

A retailer or a shop is a business that presents a selection of goods and offers to trade or sell them to customers for money or other goods.