Shopping can be a personal marathon or a family event.
Sometimes local regions have what is called a flea markets. Here you can find antiques, old books, crafts, and very unique household fixtures and goods. Sometimes farmers will join together in a common area and proclaim a farmers markets where the careful buyer can find the freshest of the fresh vegetables, fruits and handicrafts.
In the old days common vendors used to cluster together - you can still find this in places like Hong Kong where for blocks and blocks you will find nothing more than consumer electronics - in today's urban area there has emerged the mall where stores cluster under a common roof with cornered walkways for shoppers and controlled atmospheres. Entire mall societies are created around the shopping theme starting early in the day when old folks walk round and round the mall getting their exercise. Later in the afternoon teenagers - boys and girls - hang out in packs - looking at each other walking by - each trying to ignore the other yet hoping that they attract that special one just the same - talking on their cellular phones and walking by the store fronts with their mannequins staring back at them with a knowing smirk about who is really high fashion - the kids or the models that will never stroll through the mall - even after all have gone home except the rats scurrying about beneath the septic gaze of security cameras and sleeping guards.
Bookstores - have reemerged as a meeting place for young and old alike. One might think why would someone want to go to a bookstore where you have to pay for books - while a library is always there to loan books for free - well call it uncontrolled ambience.