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A market, or marketplace, is a regular gathering of people for the purchase and sale of provisions, livestock, and other goods. A place where buying and selling occurs. In different parts of the world they may be referred to as a souk (from the Arabic), bazaar (from the Persian), a fixed mercado (Spanish) or itinerant tianguis (Mexico), or palengke (Philippines).
Markets may be retail or wholesale markets.
Major physical formats of markets are:
Markets may feature a range of merchandise for sale, or they may be one of many specialist markets, such as:
Markets existed in ancient times — in ancient Greece, the agora, and in ancient Rome, the forum. The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is often cited as the world's oldest still-operating market; its construction began in 1455. In the 15th century the Mexica (Aztec) market of Tlatelolco was the largest in all the Americas.
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Street markets in Hong Kong are held all the days except few traditional Chinese holidays like Chinese New Year. Stalls opened at two sides of a street were required to have licenses issued by the Hong Kong Government. In Hong Kong there are street markets of various kinds such as fresh foods, clothing, cooked foods, flowers, and even electronics. The earliest form of markets is known as Gaa si. Some of them are gradually being replaced by shopping centres, markets in municipal service buildings, and supermarkets, while some became tourist attractions like Tung Choi Street and Apliu Street.
Street markets in Greece are called laikes agores (λαϊκές αγορές) in plural, or λαϊκή αγορά (laiki agora) in singular, meaning "people's market". They are very common all over Greece, including the capital, Athens, and its suburbs. Regular (weekly) morning markets sell mostly fresh produce from farming cooperatives - fruit, vegetables, fish and flowers/plants. Some household items and prepared foods are often available.
Annual street markets (panigyri(a)) occur around churches on the day of their patron saint. These take place in the evenings and have a more festive character, often involving attractions and food stalls. The goods sold range from clothing and accessories to household items, furniture, toys and trinkets. Athens also has several bazaars/enclosed markets.
As the first real form of retailing, not a great deal has actually changed. Many people have tried their hand at Market trading and some have made vast fortunes, Marks and Spencers, Tesco, New Look all started from a barrow or stall. The life is tough and the hours can be very long but there are certain families who have been involved with the industry,for many generations and usually linked to the same trade or line. Halkets is one of these, based around Stoke-on-Trent,are famous for selling "pots" (china and pottery) at markets and fairs up and down the country. Benjamin is also another old family name connected with the markets and fairs,these seem to still operate around the London and Oxford areas and are involved with the selling of small leather goods,handbags and lugggage.
Traders can be licensed to trade on a single pitch but not at a national level or when trading on private land. This has led to declining confidence in the reputation of markets. A voluntary scheme has been set up by The Market People, backed by the National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA) to address this. It provides consumers with traceability of traders and goods as well as the ability to rate and contact the traders. A MarketPASS is issued to an operator or Trader once they have provided proof of identity, insurance and, where required, a hygiene certificate.
Many of the older historic markets carry a "charter" which gives that particular market certain rights and protection. For example, another market can't be held on the same day within a certain distance of a "chartered market". These were awarded by kings to markets and fairs all over England, and to this day are guarded by market traders and showmen.
Some examples of street markets include Berwick Street Market, Broadway Market, Camden Market, East Street Market, Petticoat Lane and Portobello Road Market. The most popular for food is Borough Market which sell most fresh produce as well as having a bakery.
In Pakistan (and also Bangladesh and India), a Landa bazaar is a type of a bazaar or a marketplace with lowest prices where only secondhand general goods are exchanged or sold.
Street markets are called shortly pazar in Turkish and usually named after the name of the day since they are only installed at around 05:00 on that specific day and ended on same day around 18:00, in every week. Every district in Turkey has its own open market where people can choose and buy from a very wide range of products, from fresh fruits and vegetables to clothing, from traditional white cheese (which some people may consider feta-like) to household items. In Istanbul area Wednesday Pazar of Fatih district, Tuesday Pazar of Kadıköy and Friday Pazar of Ortaköy are the most famous and crowded open markets of the city.
In the United States, the term public market is often used for a place where vendors or merchants meet at the same location on a regular basis. A public market has a sponsoring entity that has legal and financial responsibility to oversee operations and, sometimes, provides facilities to house the market activity. Public markets may incorporate the traditional market activity – the sale of fresh food from open stalls – and may also offer a wide range of different products. Public markets may incorporate elements of specialized markets such as farmers markets, craft markets, and antique markets. Traditionally public markets in the US were owned and operated by city governments, but this is no longer the case.