Africa best for WOLFGANG GRASSL HILLSDALE COLLEGE retail RETAILING IS THE DISTRIBUTION of products to the final consumer for personal use. It is an indispensable and sophisticated activity in a capitalist economy, and the degree of development of an economy at large can often be measured by the development of its retail sector. Retailing is counted toward the service sector of an economy. Wholesale and retail businesses together are sometimes referred to as distributive trade. In the statistics of the UNITED STATES, retailing comprises groups 52 59 in the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) and groups 44 45 in the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS). In the EUROPEAN UNION (EU), re- 710 retail tailing covers divisions 50 and 52 in the Statistical Classification of Economic Activities (NACE). According to the Census of Retail Trade of 1997 (which is part of the Economic Census conducted every five years), there were 1,561,195 retail establishments in the United States (+2. Africa best 2016.