Tradition and Innovation in English Retailing, 1700 to 1850

Author(s): 
Mitchell, Ian
ISBN: 
9781409443209
Date published: 
January 2014
Hardback
Price: 
£65.00

Three decades of research into retailing in England from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries has established a seemingly clear narrative: fixed shops were widespread from an early date; 'modern' methods of retailing were common from at least the early eighteenth century; shopping was a skilled activity throughout the period; and consumers were increasingly part of - and aware of being part of - a polite and fashionable culture. This book presents a reassessment of the standard view by challenging the usefulness of concepts like 'traditional' and 'modern', examining consumption and retailing as inextricably linked aspects of a single process, and by using the idea of narrative to discuss the roles and perceptions of the various actors in this process - such as retailers, shoppers/consumers, local authorities and commentators.