Vienna is the commercial, banking, and industrial center. Railroad lines passing through it connect Austria with all neighboring countries. Vienna is also the major, but not the only, distribution center; every large provincial city is the hub of marketing and distribution for the surrounding area. Most items are sold in privately owned general or special stores, but consumer cooperatives are also active. Though small specialty shops have accounted for about 90% of retail establishments, larger outlets and shopping malls are becoming popular. In 2000, there were about 126 shopping centers reporting a total of $5.7 billion in sales, an increase of 7.6% from the previous year.
Normal business hours are from 8 or 9 AM to 5 or 6 PM , Mondays through Fridays. Banks usually stay open from 8 AM to 12:30 PM and from 1:30 to 3 PM (5:30 PM on Thursday). Retail establishments are governed by stricter rules than in the United States. Sunday hours are generally not permitted. Usual hours are from 6 AM to 7:30 PM Monday through Friday.
Advertising is displayed in newspapers, periodicals, and trade journals, and on posters on public conveyances, public stands, and billboards. Considerable advertising is done in cinemas. International fairs are held every spring and autumn in Vienna, and specialized fairs are held regularly in Dornbirn, Graz, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Ried im Innkreis, and Wels.