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Back to the Shops: The High Street in History and the Future

Author/EditorBowlby, Rachel (Professor of Comparative (Author)
ISBN: 9780198815914
Pub Date24/02/2022
BindingHardback
Pages288
Dimensions (mm)222(h) * 140(w) * 20(d)
Over time, shops have occupied radically different places in cultural arguments and everyday lives. Back to the Shops offers a set of short, often surprising chapters, each one a window into a different shop type or mode of selling.
€17.52
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Availability: 2 In Stock
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What will become of the shops? More than ever, the high street appears to be under mortal threat, its shops boarded up as the sad 'bricks and mortar' survivals of a pre-online retail world. But behind the bleak appearance, there is more to see.

Back to the Shops offers a set of short and surprising chapters, each one a window into a different shop type or mode of selling. Old shopping streets are seen from new angles; fast fashion shows up in eighteenth-century edits. Here are pedlars and pop-ups, mail order catalogues and mobile greengrocers' shops. Here too are food markets open till late on a Saturday night, and tiny subscription libraries tucked away at the back of the sweet shop.

Over time, shops have occupied radically different places in cultural arguments and in our everyday lives. They are essential sources of daily provisions, but they are also the visible evidence of consuming excess. They are local community hubs and they are dreamlands of distraction.

Shops are inherently spaces of imagination as well as of practicality. They belong with their own surrounding streets and town; they bring back the times and places of our lives. They linger in stories of all kinds, whether far-fetched or round the corner. From butcher to baker and from markets to motor vans-after reading this book, you will want to go back to the shops.

What will become of the shops? More than ever, the high street appears to be under mortal threat, its shops boarded up as the sad 'bricks and mortar' survivals of a pre-online retail world. But behind the bleak appearance, there is more to see.

Back to the Shops offers a set of short and surprising chapters, each one a window into a different shop type or mode of selling. Old shopping streets are seen from new angles; fast fashion shows up in eighteenth-century edits. Here are pedlars and pop-ups, mail order catalogues and mobile greengrocers' shops. Here too are food markets open till late on a Saturday night, and tiny subscription libraries tucked away at the back of the sweet shop.

Over time, shops have occupied radically different places in cultural arguments and in our everyday lives. They are essential sources of daily provisions, but they are also the visible evidence of consuming excess. They are local community hubs and they are dreamlands of distraction.

Shops are inherently spaces of imagination as well as of practicality. They belong with their own surrounding streets and town; they bring back the times and places of our lives. They linger in stories of all kinds, whether far-fetched or round the corner. From butcher to baker and from markets to motor vans-after reading this book, you will want to go back to the shops.

Rachel Bowlby teaches courses on the history and theory of consumer culture at University College London, where she is Professor of Comparative Literature. Previous books include Just Looking (on department stores), Shopping with Freud, and Carried Away (on supermarkets).

List of Illustrations Introduction SETTINGS 1 Chain stores 2 Convenience 3 Fixed prices 4 Local shops 5 Mail order 6 Markets 7 Self-service and supermarkets 8 Shopping centres 9 Shop windows 10 Sources ROLES 11 Collections 12 Counters 13 Credit and credibility 14 Customer loyalty 15 Motor vans and motor buses 16 Nineteenth-century bazaars 17 Pedlars 18 Saturday nights and Sundays 19 Scenes of shopping 20 Shopworkers and shopkeepers SPECIALITIES 21 Bakers 22 Butchers 23 Chemists 24 Florists 25 Furniture shops 26 Haberdashery 27 Household goods 28 Jewellers 29 Sweet shops 30 Umbrella shops Afterword Acknowledgements Index

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