What does shopping mean to American women? This question is the focus of our book. We profile the American woman and examine how life has changed since her grandmother was young. Women have many choices about when and where to shop; thus retailers need to understand her needs and wants to attract and maintain her business.We provide a brief history of retailing in the United States to show how the retail industry has changed as women’s lives have changed. Malls have contributed to the development of contemporary society, particularly as a site for relaxation and social connections outside of the home. We examine shopping as a life skill and a craft that is taught, both indirectly and deliberately by parents, particularly mothers.Our research identified five distinct types of shoppers. Most women tended toward or were clearly identifiable as one of these five types. We delve into each shopping typology and discuss the underlying motivations for the shopping behavior in each group. We discuss identity and creativity, power and independence, seeking solitude, emotional release, and companionship as motivations for shopping and what these mean to the retailer.Some women love and others loathe shopping. Our goal in this book is to alert retailers, merchandisers, property developers, and manufacturers about the major dos and don’ts to appeal to women. Retail is detail and it is easy to get the simple elements wrong, leading to unhappy customers. For example, we analyze what women want from retail sales staff and explore the customer and sales assistant relationship and its importance to women.Will shopping remain a female activity or will a new gender balance develop? What are the two consumers segments that present huge opportunities to the retail industry? Insights to these questions are provided in the last chapter.