Bangkok, the port of entry and distribution point for the whole country, is the commercial center of Thailand; all foreign firms have their main offices there. Other commercially important cities are Chiang Mai (teak, rice, and textiles), Ubon Ratchathani (rice, jute, and leather), Phuket (tin), and Songkhla (rubber).
Many essential commodities are grown and consumed by the producer, or distributed at the local level. Production for the domestic market has continued to increase led by high growth industries such as construction materials, foods and beverages, and electronic appliances. In the greater Bangkok metropolitan area, almost every kind of retail outlet is represented, including specialty shops and over 40 department stores. As of 2002, there were about 250,000 retail outlets within the country, mostly small establishments. Department stores, discount stores, hypermarkets, and convenience stores are all available. Both local and foreign franchise firms have been successful. Rather than shop in traditional "wet markets," a growing number of Thai consumers are utilizing western-style supermarkets. Direct marketing, mail order, and television shopping have all become popular, particularly as credit cards have become more widely accepted. Newspaper, radio, television, and motion picture advertising is available.
Usual business hours are from 8 AM to 5 PM , Monday through Friday. Shops are open from 9 AM to 8 or 9 PM , and banks from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM .
The annual Bangkok fair in December, originally conceived for entertainment, has developed into a trade fair.