A retail sale occurs when a business sells a product or service to an individual consumer for his or her own use. The transaction itself can occur through a number of different sales channels, such as online, in a brick-and-mortar storefront, through direct sales, or direct mail.
There are four major categories of retailers:
Hardlines – things that tend to last a long time, such as appliances, cars, and furniture
Soft goods or consumables – things like clothing, shoes, and toiletries
Food – things like meat, cheese, produce, and baked goods
Art – things like fine art, as well as books and musical instruments