Wholesale trade became a state monopoly in 1946. Initially, private retail trade played an important role, but by 1970 trade was fully socialized. By December 1990, retail units had been privatized again. All price controls were eliminated except on a few consumer items and monopoly-controlled products.
Shops in Albania are generally small, but department stores and a few larger supermarkets with limited stocks have been established in Tiranë, Durrës, Korcë, and other larger cities. Consumer cooperatives conduct trade in the rural areas. Albania has a small, but growing advertising sector.
Albanian business hours are Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 6 PM . Shop hours are Mondays and Tuesdays, 7 AM to 2 PM and 5 to 8 PM , and other weekdays, 7 AM to 2 PM . Many shops are open seven days a week, since there is no legislation regulating shop hours. Before 1 January 1959, all sales were for cash. Since then, date limited consumer credit was sanctioned, but most transactions are still in cash.