The built environment from which the activity of retailing is carried out in rural Andalusia is characterized by the juxtaposition of modern and traditional forms. Some of the physical adaptations consequent upon change toward more modern forms of retailing are discussed and their presence or absence in 25 settlements in central Malaga Province is investigated. The fieldwork identifies a distinctive and rudimentary type of retail establishment in many villages (termed 'archaic' in the present study) with many outlets barely distinguishable from domestic premises. These forms of retail outlet continue to survive in settlements of varying size, character and location. The durability of such shops is related to the distinctive social and cultural characteristics of life in ian Andalusian village, factors that transcend the normal economic considerations in relation to retail outlets. It is argued that these 'archaic' stores perform important psychological functions within neighborhoods and that their inevitable long-term demise is likely to be indicative of fundamental changes to long-established social and cultural norms.