Retailers are businesses that sell goods or services directly to consumers for personal or household use. They typically purchase products from manufacturers or wholesalers and then sell them to the general public through physical stores, online marketplaces, or other channels.

Retailers can specialize in a wide range of product categories, such as clothing, electronics, furniture, groceries, and many more. Some retailers are large chains with many locations, while others are small independent stores. The retail industry plays a significant role in the economy of most countries and employs millions of people worldwide.

Retail is the process of selling consumer goods and/or services to customers through multiple channels of distribution to earn a profit. Demand is created through diverse target markets and promotional tactics, satisfying consumers’ wants and needs through a lean supply chain. In the 2000s, an increasing amount of retailing is done online using electronic payment and delivery via a courier or postal mail. 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 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 (B2C) transactions and mail orders, are a form of non-shop retailing. Shopping generally 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.