The aim of this study is to determine the current role of trade as a town developing factor. The analysis was made on the example of a middle-size town - Leszno. During only the last few years a lot of have taken place in Leszno concerning the quality and quantity of trade as well as location of it in the town space. This study contains the analysis and assessment of changes in Leszno retail trade in the years 2010-2012. The survey was the basis for the assessment of the town prestige as a subregional trade centre, appraisal of the trade system, the arrangement of trade points in the town, the appeal of the town and its centre as a result of building new shopping malls.