Retailer Francis Place was one of the first to experiment with this new retailing method at his tailoring establishment in Charing Cross, where he fitted the shop-front with large plate glass windows.Although this was condemned by many, he defended his practice in his memoirs, claiming that he: Retailers designed attractive shop fronts to entice patronage, using bright lights, advertisements and attractively arranged goods.
Shopping lists are known to have been used by Romans, as one was discovered near Hadrian's wall dated back to 75–125 CE written for a soldier.
The modern phenomenon of shopping is closely linked to the emergence of the consumer society in the 18th century.
Specific streets and districts became devoted to retail, including the Strand and Piccadilly in London.
The first display windows in shops were installed in the late 18th century in London.
Marketplaces dating back to the Middle Ages, expanded as shopping centres, such as the New Exchange, opened in 1609 by Robert Cecil in the Strand.
Shops started to become important as places for Londoners to meet and socialise and became popular destinations alongside the theatre.For example, research from a field experiment found that male and female shoppers who were accidentally touched from behind by other shoppers left a store earlier than people who had not been touched and evaluated brands more negatively, resulting in the Accidental Interpersonal Touch effect.In ancient Greece, the agora served as a marketplace where merchants kept stalls or shops to sell their goods.Over the course of the two centuries from 1600 onwards, the purchasing power of the average Englishman steadily rose.Sugar consumption doubled in the first half of the 18th century and the availability of a wide range of luxury goods, including tea and cotton saw a sustained increase.Restoration London also saw the growth of luxury buildings as advertisements for social position with speculative architects like Nicholas Barbon and Lionel Cranfield.