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.
Although the idea of retail is often associated with the purchase of goods, the term may be applied to service-providers that sell to consumers.
Retail markets and shops have a very ancient history, dating back to antiquity.
Some of the earliest retailers were itinerant peddlers.
Over the centuries, retail shops were transformed from little more than "rude booths" to the sophisticated shopping malls of the modern era.
Most modern retailers typically make a variety of strategic level decisions including the type of store, the market to be served, the optimal product assortment, customer service, supporting services and the store's overall market positioning.