Retail is the sale of goods and services from individuals or businesses to the customers. Retailers are part of an integrated system that is known as the supply chain. A retailer purchases goods or products in large quantities from manufacturers directly or through a wholesale, and then sells products to the consumer for a profit. Retailing can be done in either fixed locations like stores or markets, door-to-door or by delivery. In the 2000s, an increasing amount of retailing is done using online websites, electronic payment, and then delivered via a courier or via other services.
Retailing includes subordinated services, such as delivery. The term “retailer” is also applied where a service provider services the needs of a large number of individuals, such as for the public. Shops may be on residential streets, streets with few or no houses or in a shopping mall. Shopping streets may be for pedestrians only. Sometimes a shopping street has a partial or full roof to protect customers from precipitation. Online retailing, a type of electronic commerce used for business-to-consumer transactions and mail order, are forms of non-shop retailing.
Shopping in general refers to the act of buying products. Sometimes this is done to obtain necessities such as food and clothing; sometimes it is done as a recreational activity. Recreational shopping often involves window shopping (just looking, not buying) and browsing and does not always result in a purchase.