Up until the late nineteenth century shop development was almost static, and independent shopkeepers predominated, but the scene changed with the growth of manufactured goods and with people becoming concentrated in large towns. Taking first the law relating to the regulation of land use, a distinction has to be drawn between the public law of planning and private land law. It was only towards the end of the era that the seeds of what is at present called 'planning control' were sown Turning to competition law, the authors find a situation which cannot be simply described in terms of principles of private law in due course accompanied by, and overlaid with, a regime of public law. In the context of the interaction of retailing and competition law, the most important part of the era under discussion was that which saw the acceleration of retail growth, i.e. the post 'industrial revolution' period.