The General store was usually the first retail business in most pioneer communities.
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.
Related Fool Articles
Related Fool Discussion Boards
Post your questions on Motley Fool's "Retail" board. 
Recent Mentions on Fool.com
- Apple Buys Topsy, Makes Play For Twitter?s Firehose of Data
- Stock Market Today: J.C. Penney Grows, but at What Cost?
- Is J.C. Penney on the Path to Higher Profits?
- Will Dollar General Earnings Stay Ahead of Dollar Tree and Family Dollar?
- CVS/Coram Infusion Deal Is a Good Prescription for Investors
- Will Guess? Leave Investors Guessing on Earnings?