Definition: Trading forms

Distributive trade

The form of selling of the local unit(s) of the enterprise can be classified into one or several of the proposed classes:
- Trading in stores;
- Trading through fixed market stands and/or stalls;
- Itinerant trading;
- Mail-order selling;
- Other forms of trade.

Stores are defined as fixed sales premises which the customers enter to make their purchases.

Trading through fixed market stands and /or stalls is done at a stall permanently set up in a public place; customers do not usually enter the sales premises.

Itinerant trading is a trading form of commercial enterprises who do not have a fixed point of sale (E.g. holders or keepers of mobile stalls, street sellers, hawkers and peddlers). Itinerant or street trading applies where the trader sells his goods to passers-by in the street; door-to-door trading applies where the trader goes from house to house with his entire range of goods. In "home-selling" the trader goes directly to the home of a possible client.

Mail-order is defined as retail sales in NACE Rev. 1 class 52.61 (47.91 in NACE Rev. 2).

Mail-order selling is a form of trading in which goods are offered via catalogues, prospectuses, advertising (press, radio, television) or by representatives, and the goods ordered are sent to the purchaser by post or another method. This form of trading is practised by manufacturers (direct mail-order sales), by retail enterprises for which this is their sole or near-sole activity (mail-order houses) and by enterprises which, in addition to the facilities required for high-street retailing also operate departments suitably equipped for mail-order selling (order-processing, dispatch, etc.). A distinction is drawn between general and specialist catalogue selling.

Other forms of trade consist mostly of vending machines.

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