18世紀ロンドンの小売商と消費社会 The Development of Consumer Society and Shopkeepers in Eighteenth Century London
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In this paper, based on investigation of clothing retailers in eighteenth century London, I try to clarify the role of retailers in the consumer revolution and discern the degree of modernity of eighteenth century London retail shops.<br>In eighteenth century England, there were splendid urban growth and development of shopping area in many towns and retailers of these areas began to display novel goods at their shop windows and tried to sell fashionable things. Especially in London, shopkeepers were strongly sensitive to fashion trends. A key to their business success was in understanding fashion trends and keeping up with the latest fashions. Active business conduct going along with fashion was decisive for shopkeepers in London and they played an important role in diffusion of new fashion trends.<br>I have investigated trade cards of some London clothing retailers and the business records of a London milliner. They sold diverse clothes and ornaments, but focused their business on preparing and arranging fashionable dresses and hats. The main concern of Mary Holl, whose records I have investigated was to provide sales of lace or other ornaments and the service of stitching these ornaments into clothes as well as washing and mending clothes. They tried to provide customer satisfaction by offering services which adopted the latest fashions and also suited the middle class customer's identity.<br>It is also clear from records of Mary Holl, and other documents, that the outer and inner appearance of shops were important elements to attract potential customers. Show windows displayed diverse goods and a tasteful shop façade could lure customers into the shops. Inside of many shops there was a special space for the favoured customers to rest while shopping. Shopping became a leisure activity in the late eighteenth century; it was a very important business strategy for shopkeepers to enhance customer satisfaction by preparing comfortable space, especially for female customers.<br>In the late eighteenth century, at the onset of the consumer society, shopkeepers in London, such as Mary Holl, whose customers were mainly the middling sorts of people played a very important role in increasing the consumption and spreading fashion trends.
- Keiei Shigaku (Japan Business History Review)
Keiei Shigaku (Japan Business History Review) 43(1), 3-28, 2008
Business History Society of Japan