Most people in Britain and the US now buy their fresh food in supermarkets rather than traditional markets. But markets are still important to the life of many cities and towns and in recent years farmers’ markets, where local farmers and others sell produce (= fruit, vegetables, etc.) or home-made foods directly to the public, have grown in popularity.In Britain, most markets are held in the open air, in town squares or market places. They usually take place only on market day, the same day each week, and sometimes on Saturdays, and the stalls are put up for each occasion. Towns where markets have traditionally been held are called market towns. Many still have a market cross, indicating where the market was originally held, or an old market hall, a covered area open at the sides. Today, markets sell flowers, fruit and vegetables, fish and meat, clothes and household goods.Some towns and cities in Britain and the US have a covered or indoor market. These markets are usually open more days of the week than outdoor markets and operate more like shops. Markets that sell cheap second-hand goods, including clothes, jewellery and books are called flea markets. In the US, these are usually in buildings and open during normal shopping hours.The word market is sometimes used in American English to refer to any food shop. A hypermarket in both Britain and the US is a very large store or supermarket.
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