Census of Retail Trade

Description & Updates


The Retail Trade sector (sector 44-45) comprises establishments engaged in retailing merchandise, generally without transformation, and rendering services incidental to the sale of merchandise.

Comparability with SIC data

This sector includes much of what was classified in Retail Trade under the SIC system. Excluded from this sector, however, are eating and drinking places and mobile foodservices (which are now in the Accommodation and Foodservices sector); pawn shops (which are now in the Finance and Insurance sector); and bakeries (which are now in the Manufacturing sector).

In addition, this sector now includes industries previously classified in Wholesale Trade that sold merchandise using facilities open to the general public. Prominent examples of these are automotive supplies dealers, computer and peripheral equipment merchants, office supplies dealers, farm supplies dealers, and building materials dealers.

Geographic detail

The Economic Census publishes data for the retail trade sector for the U.S., states, counties, places, and metropolitan areas, and, on CD-ROM only, for ZIP codes.

The Census of Retail trade is updated by: