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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
a retail chain (=one whose business is buying and selling goods)
▪ Large retail chains usually want to expand and build more stores.
a retail/commercial complex (=for shops, businesses, or industries)
▪ a ten-screen movie theater and retail complex
in the building/retail etc line
▪ She’s keen to do something in the fashion line.
retail outlets
▪ Benetton has retail outlets in every major European city.
retail park
retail price index
retail sales (=sales of things to the public in shops)
▪ The volume of retail sales was 0.3 percent higher than in the previous quarter.
retail therapy
▪ What you need is a bit of retail therapy!
the retail price (=the price that the public pays for something in a shop)
▪ Tax is 40% of the retail price of a typical bottle of wine.
the retail trade (=businesses which sell goods in shops to customers)
▪ Advertising encourages the retail trade to stock and display the product.
the retail price index
▪ I've worked in retail for two years.
▪ Demolition would pave the way for a major retail and leisure complex masterplan, devised by Damond Lock Grabowski.
▪ I worked in retail for two years.
▪ Last month, it reported a Pounds 15.6m retail trading loss for the first half.
▪ The retail element is highly fragmented and therefore, historically, mail-order has been an important purchasing element.
▪ The fastest job growth until 2002: Cashiers, janitors, retail salespeople, waiters, waitresses, nurses, systems analysts.
▪ The firm has bagged a £26 million retail and residential deal in Manchester for Prudential.
▪ And when online retailing finally ignites, say online analysts, it will go off like a rocket.
▪ Opportunities exist in most areas of niche retailing, from childrens' toys to office stationery.
▪ The defective cranks tend to be on imported bikes that retail in the $ 400 to $ 650 range.
▪ The magazine retails at 8O pence, but is free to all Spend & Save cardholders.
▪ They retail at £1.55 for 12 and are available in most branches.
▪ They retailed around £38-£45, depending on the model, and for sound kicked the shit out of my Levin.
▪ When I was a kid, the religious calendar and the retailing cycle dictated our bi-annual trips in town.
▪ We bought it retail.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Retail \Re"tail\ (r[=e]"t[=a]l), n. [F. retaille piece cut off, shred, paring, or OF. retail, from retailler. See Retail, v.] The sale of commodities in small quantities or parcels; -- opposed to wholesale; sometimes, the sale of commodities at second hand.


Retail \Re"tail\, a. Done at retail; engaged in retailing commodities; as a retail trade; a retail grocer.


Retail \Re*tail"\ (r[-e]*t[=a]l"), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Retailed;p. pr. & vb. n. Retailing.] [Cf. F. retailler to cut again; pref. re- re + tailler to cut. See Retail, n., Tailor, and cf. Detail.]

  1. To sell in small quantities, as by the single yard, pound, gallon, etc.; to sell directly to the consumer; as, to retail cloth or groceries.

  2. To sell at second hand. [Obs. or R.]

  3. To distribute in small portions or at second hand; to tell again or to many (what has been told or done); to report; as, to retail slander. ``To whom I will retail my conquest won.''

    He is wit's peddler, and retails his wares At wakes and wassails.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

mid-14c. "sell in small quantities or parcels," from Old French retaillier "cut back, cut off, pare, clip, reduce, circumcise," from re- "back" (see re-) + taillier "to cut, trim" (see tailor (n.)). Sometimes also "to deal out (information, etc.) in small quantities; hand down by report; recount, tell over again" (1590s). Related: Retailed; retailing.


early 15c., "sale of commodities in small quantities or parcels or at second hand" (opposed to wholesale), from Old French retail "piece cut off, shred, scrap, paring" (Modern French retaille), from retaillier (see retail (v.)). The notion of the English word is "a selling by the piece." This sense is not in French, however, and comes perhaps from cognate Italian ritaglio, which does have that sense. As an adjective, "of or pertaining to sale at retail," c.1600.

  1. Of, or relating to the (actual or figurative) sale of goods or services directly to individuals. adv. Direct to consumers, in retail quantities, or at retail prices. n. 1 The sale of goods directly to the consumer; encompassing the storefronts, mail-order, websites, etc., and the corporate mechanisms, branding, advertising, etc. that support them, which are involved in the business of selling and point-of-sale marketing retail goods to the public. 2 (context colloquial English) Retail price; full price; an abbreviated expression, meaning the full suggested price of a particular good or service, before any sale, discount, or other deal. v

  2. 1 To sell at retail, or in small quantities directly to customers. 2 To repeat or circulate (news or rumours) to others.


adj. selling or related to selling direct to the consumer; "retail trade"; "retail business"; "retail price" [ant: wholesale]


n. the selling of goods to consumers; usually in small quantities and not for resale [ant: wholesale]


adv. at a retail price; "I'll sell it to you retail only" [ant: wholesale]

  1. v. be sold at the retail level; "These gems retail at thousands of dollars each"

  2. sell on the retail market [ant: wholesale]

Retail (comic strip)

Retail is a syndicated comic strip distributed by King Features Syndicate. It is authored and illustrated by Norm Feuti. It made its newspaper debut on January 1, 2006, and then gained quickly in popularity following articles in The New York Times and TIME Magazine.


Retail involves the process of selling consumer goods or services to customers through multiple channels of distribution to earn a profit. Demand is identified and then satisfied through a supply chain. Attempts are made to increase demand through advertising. In the 2000s, an increasing amount of retailing began occurring online using electronic payment and delivery via a courier or via postal mail. Retailing as a sector includes subordinated services, such as delivery. The term "retailer" is also applied where a service provider services the small orders of a large number of individuals, rather than large orders of a small number of wholesale, corporate or government clientele. Shops may be on residential streets, streets with few or no houses, or in a shopping mall. Shopping streets may restrict traffic to pedestrians only. Sometimes a shopping street has a partial or full roof to create a more comfortable shopping environment - protecting customers from various types of weather conditions such as extreme temperatures, winds or precipitation. Forms of non-shop retailing include online retailing (a type of electronic commerce used for business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions) and mail order.

Shopping generally refers to the act of buying products. Sometimes this is done to obtain final goods, including necessities such as food and clothing; sometimes it takes place as a recreational activity. Recreational shopping often involves window shopping (just looking, not buying) and browsing: it does not always result in a purchase.

Usage examples of "retail".

Retail or distribution companies can include a manufactured product in an advertisement and greatly reduce the cost of the advertising or receive an allowance or discount on purchases from manufacturers in heu of shared advertising costs.

Their reports include everything from retail newspaper advertising to casino advertising to airline advertising to insurance marketing.

Such retail restoration increased impulse buying, especially by tourists.

In an important econometric study, American Enterprise Institute researchers Kevin Hassett and John Lott methodically surveyed headlines in hundreds of newspapers and AP reports on unemployment, GDP, retail sales, and durable-goods orders going back to 1985, and found them to be considerably gloomier overall when a Republican sat in the White House, regardless of the economic data the stories reported.

Just recently the urban renewal had come in the form of the Boulevard Mall, a brand-new pseudoadobe structure built on the bulldozed graves of more traditional retail outlets.

Boulevard Mall, a brand-new pseudoadobe structure built on the bulldozed graves of more traditional retail outlets.

And an innovator in financial areas, Citibank in New York, for instance, is unlikely to embark on innovations in retailing or health care.

The fastest strip moved only thirty miles per hour, and was quite narrow, for no one had thought of the possibility of locating retail trade on the strips themselves.

To the connoisseur, they offer an unending display of artful design, including product design, package design, retail design, visual merchandising, sculpture, and architecture.

When it works well, music programming works with merchandising and retail design to create a distinctive brand image for a store.

I suspect I have emphasized item merchandising and the importance of promoting items to a greater degree than most any other retail management person in this country.

The act to discourage the retail of spirituous liquors had incensed the populace to such a degree, as occasioned numberless tumults in the cities of London and Westminster.

On the west side, occupying the entire block from Eighteenth to Nineteenth streets, is a magnificent building of white marble used by a number of retail merchants.

Malls are a good place to think about retailing and retail culture, an important subset of American commercial culture.

A lot of retailing takes place in strip centers and community centers, in power centers and outlet malls, but those are stories for other people and other books.