The History and Evolution of Retail Stores
For nearly as long as people have existed, they have been sharing, bartering, selling, and consuming resources.
To trace the complete history of commerce back to its inception, we must travel to a time when wooly mammoths still walked the Earth. People exchanged cows and sheep in trade as far back as 9000 BC. The first proper currency extends as far back as 3000 BC in Mesopotamia.
The first retail stores take up the mantle a bit further down the line. By 800 BC in ancient Greece, people had developed markets with merchants selling their wares in the Agora in the city center.These ruins are of an ancient Greek agora. People would come there not only to shop but to socialize and participate in government.
Flash forward a couple thousand years and we have our modern mammoths: retail giants like Walmart, Costco, and Target.
But what happened in between?
In this deep dive, we’re investigating the evolution of retail and retail shopping in America. We’ll focus primarily on the post-Industrial Revolution era when retail really took off, all the way up to the Digital Revolution and the game changer that is ecommerce.
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