Most shops in Britain open at 9.00 a.m. and close at 5.00 or 5.30 in the evening. Small shopsusually close for an hour at lunchtime. On one or two days a week-usually Thursday and/or Friday-some large food shops stay until about 8.00 p.m. for late night shopping.
Many shops are closed in the afternoon on one day a week. The days is usually Wednesday orThursday and it is a different day in different towns. Nearly all shops are closed on Sunday. News-paper shops are open in the morning, and sell sweets and cigarettes as well. But there are legal restrictions on selling many things on Sundays. Many large food shops(supermarkets)are self-service. When you go into one of these shops you take a basket and you put the things you wish to buy into it. You queue up at the cash-desk and pay for everything just before you leave. If anyone tries to take things from a shop without paying they are almost certain to be caught. Most shops have store detectives who have the job of catching shoplifters. Shoplifting is considered a serious crime by the police and the courts. When you are waiting to be served in a shop, itis important to wait your turn. It is important not to try to be served before people who arrived before you. Many people from overseas are astonished at the British habit of queuing.