Shop and Establishment

As per Concise Oxford English Dictionary, 11th Edition (Revised), the term “shop” has been given the following meaning:
Shop.—a building or part of a building where goods or services are sold.
According to Wharton’s Law Lexicon, 14th Edition (1993), a “shop” has been said to mean: a place where things are kept for sale, usually in small quantities, to the actual consumers.
According to Black’s Law Dictionary, 7th Edition (1999), the term “shop” has been stated to mean: A business establishment or place of employment; a factory, office or other place of business.”
According to Words and Phrases, Permanent Edition, Vol. 39, the term “shop” has been stated to mean, inter alia, the following:
“The word shop means a room or building in which the making, preparing, or repairing of any article is carried on or in which any industry is pursued; the place where anything is made; the producing place or source. State v. Sabo, 140 NE 499: 108 Ohio St 200 (1923)
Worcester defines a shop as a place, building or room in which things are sold; a store. Salomon v. Pioneer Coop. Co., 21 FLA 374: 58 Am Rep 667 (1885).
According to Corpus Juris Secundum, Vol. LXXX, the term shop has been explained as follows:
“The word shop appears to be derived from the old high German ‘schopf’ or ‘scopf’which meant a building without a front wall. It is a term of various significance, and has many definitions, and it may have different meanings when used with different texts. In it’s popular sense, as well as it’s legal meaning, the term shop is not confined to a store, and it may include both a store and a workshop.
The word shop may denote a place where goods are sold, a place, building or room in which things are sold and expressing this concept, the term is defined as meaning a place kept and used for the sale of goods; a place where goods are sold for retail.”
From the above it can be said that a “shop” is a place of business or an establishment where goods are sold for retail. However, it may be noted that the definitions as given in the dictionaries are very old and may not reflect, with complete accuracy, what a “shop” may be referred to as in the present day.
In Hindu Jea Band v. ESI Corporation, (1987) 2 SCC 101, it is observed that a “shop” would be a place where services are sold on a retail basis. In International Iron Ore and Fertilizers (India) (P) Ltd. V. ESI Corporation, (1987) 4 SCC 203, the Hon’ble Apex Court stated that a “shop” would be a place where the activities connected with buying and selling of goods are carried on. In Cochin Shipping Company v. ESI Corporation, (1992) 4 SCC 245, the Court observed that a “shop” must be held to be a place where commercial activity of buying and selling of merchandise takes place. In ESI Corporation v. R.K. Swamy, (1994) 1 SCC 445, the Court extended the meaning of a “:shop” to include even sale of services.
Therefore, certain basic features of a “shop” may be culled out from the above. It can be said that a “shop” is a business establishment where a systematic or organized commercial activity takes place with regard to sale or purchase of goods or services and includes an establishment that facilitates the above transaction as well.
In view of the fact that an “establishment” has been found to be a place of business and further that a “shop” is a business establishment, it can be said that a “shop” is indeed covered under, and may be called a subset of, the term “establishment”. Royal Western India Turf Club Limited v. ESI Corporation, (2014) 9 SCC 657.

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