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From basket to shopping bag: Retailers’ role in the transformation of consumer mobility in Sweden, 1941-1970

Johan Hagberg (School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden)
Daniel Normark (School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden)

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 16 November 2015

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to follow the gradual transformation of consumer mobility in mid-20th-century Sweden in connection with the introduction of self-service retailing.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on an analysis of the magazine ICA-Tidningen, published by the major Swedish retailer ICA, for the period from 1941 to 1970.

Findings

The paper describes the transformation of consumer mobility as a set of interrelated changes that involved both retailers and consumers, the interrelationship between modes of transport and container technologies and how self-service not only transformed the interior of retail stores but also had more far-reaching implications.

Originality/value

When attempting to understand the reconfiguration of shopping practices in the 20th century, there is a tendency to focus on large infrastructural changes. These studies tend to overlook gradual, mundane and everyday translations. This paper contributes methodological tools and analyses that account for such mundane transformations.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research is part of the project Consumer Logistics, financed by The Swedish Research Council Formas.

Citation

Hagberg, J. and Normark, D. (2015), "From basket to shopping bag: Retailers’ role in the transformation of consumer mobility in Sweden, 1941-1970", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 7 No. 4, pp. 452-475. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHRM-06-2014-0016

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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