- b : market <the marketplace is the interpreter of supply and demand>
- 2: the world of trade or economic activity : the everyday world
- 3: a sphere in which intangible values compete for acceptance <the marketplace of ideas>
A marketplace is the space, actual, virtual or metaphorical, in which a market operates. The term is also used in a trademark law context to denote the actual consumer environment, ie. the 'real world' in which products and services are provided and consumed.
Marketplaces and street markets
A marketplace is a location where goods and services are exchanged. The traditional market square is a city square where traders set up stalls and buyers browse the merchandise. This kind of market is very old, and countless such markets are still in operation around the whole world.
- In North America such markets fell out of favor, but renewed interest in local food has caused the reinvention of this type of market, called farmers' markets, in many towns and cities.
- In Europe, especially in France and Britain, street markets, as well as "marketplaces" (covered places where merchants have stalls, but not entire stores) are commonplace. Both resellers and producers sell their wares to the public.
- In Australia, the largest "open air" market is the Queen Victoria Market - at seven hectares (17 acres), in Melbourne, which is also the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.
- Markets are often temporary, with stalls only present for one or two days a week ("market days"), however some (such as Camden Market in London, UK) are open every day of the week. Such markets are normally specialist—the various stalls of Camden Market, along with the shops associated with it, sell a variety of alternative lifestyle products ranging from clothes and jewellery to CDs, instruments and furniture. An example of a large market is Chatuchak weekend market in Bangkok.
- Some large markets have become permanent institutions comparable to shopping malls. One example is the huge Seventh-Kilometer Market near Odessa, Ukraine.