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General store

The General store was usually the first retail business in most pioneer communities.

Expanded Definition

Most communities were founded around a church and a store. The store offered a wide range of merchandise shipped in from Eastern manufacturers. Such stores had little competition except for stores in other towns. Eventually Sears, Roebuck and Company became competitors on the frontier via catalog sales.

General stores that survived often morphed into department stores. Most were orginally founded from peddlers who eventually found a promising location and established a store.

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