This thesis is a study of aspects of shopping. The term shopping has been deliberately used. It is academically nondescript, an advantage over terms such as retailing or marketing which have definite and consequently limiting connotations. In contrast an academically unrestricted idea of shopping is possible. But it is necessary to assume that there is a general body of content envisaged in the term. One elaboration of shopping could be "people buying goods from other people, usually at a shop in a town". From this elaboration can be constructed several postulates inherent in shopping: centres at which goods are sold, or central places, people selling goods, or retailers, and people buying goods, or consumers. Before delimiting the particular aspects of shopping to be studied, it is worthwhile to look more closely at the three postulates. (a) Central Places Three major abstractions have defined the role of central places in studies which have dealt with shopping. The first is the tacit acceptance that all shopping occurs in formally ordained and advertised institutions. In most studies the occurrence of such institutions has constituted a central place. Scott (1970, 12) in his examination of the geography of retailing accepts as co-existent central places and retail establishments. Thus the multitude of small transactions such as the sale of eggs to friends or home hair styling are not formally incorporated into geographic models. Even Berry (1967) in his elaborate introduction of the place of market centres does not positively recognise such informal transactions.