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
- This Dividend Stock?s 13% Plunge After Earnings Is Ridiculous
- The Most Hated Company in the Retail Industry
- Can eBay or Wal-Mart Compete With Amazon Prime?
- Costco Wholesale Corporation: The Best Business Model in Retail
- 5 Things to Know About Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s Earnings Miss
- The Best Stocks for Investing in Wall Street Banks