Carmarthen avoided the large scale redevelopment that affected many other places in the 1960s and 70s, and has retained the distinctive provisions market which draws shoppers from a wide area. Scooters and wheelchairs can be hired from the shopmobility centre on the ground floor of the multi storey car park at St Catherine's Walk, from Monday to Saturday, 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.
The town has developed as a thriving shopping centre which retains much of the character of earlier periods.
Carmarthen has a wealth of independent and national shops and a renowned market. The King Street, Lammas Street, Blue Street, Nott Square and Guildhall Square area has an abundance of independent traders with a superb range of boutiques, specialist shops and local food suppliers. King Street has recently established itself as hub for original art and craft.
The indoor provision market is one of the longest-established in the UK, drawing shoppers from Monday to Saturday, with a vibrant street market on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Three areas have been redeveloped: The Red Street vicinity was redeveloped in the 1970s to accommodate major retailers such as Marks and Spencer. Land between Lammas Street and Friar's Park was developed as a major store - now Wilkinsons. Greyfriars Precinct opened in 1998, with twenty-five shops, including many national retailers such as Argos and TKMax, and was re-launched as Merlin's Walk in 2010.
Also in 2010 a new town-centre shopping area (St Catherine's Walk) opened on the former mart site, with large stores such as Debenhams and Next, a multi-storey car park and Europe's first all digital, all 3D cinema.
This mix of traditional market, local independent shops, cafes, and major multiples offers more choice than many towns with a similar population. Carmarthen is a Fairtrade town.