Until the early 1960s, the traditional small shop or market stall dominated retail trade. In recent decades, however, modern business centers with hundreds of new shops and offices have opened, and some smaller villages have developed retail stores with impressive stocks of foreign goods. Franchising is also becoming well established, though most of the franchise market is currently held by American fast-food and restaurant firms. The city of Kuwait is the distribution center for the emirate and serves the transit trade of nearby states.
Usual business hours in summer (May to October) are from 6 AM to noon and from 4 to 6 PM ; during the rest of the year, from 7 AM to noon and from 3 to 6 PM . Stores are closed Fridays.