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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2010

Alison Toplis

The purpose of this paper is to examine the acquisition of clothing through informal trading channels by provincial working‐class consumers between 1800 and 1850. It argues that…

247

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the acquisition of clothing through informal trading channels by provincial working‐class consumers between 1800 and 1850. It argues that the informal trade fulfilled various functions for such consumers, both as buyers and sellers: clothing could be sold to raise cash quickly and bought at a cheap price, while the informal trade may also have reinforced local community networks and other social relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper focuses on the counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire to provide a case study that highlights any differences in informal networks arising out of geographical variations. Documentation for the informal trade has been gathered from records of court cases and newspaper reporting of criminal trials involving stolen clothing.

Findings

The informal trade in clothing involved everyday, ordinary clothing, usually sold for money, but often for goods in kind and/or social credit. The trade operated over all areas of the two counties and seems to have been an important method for acquiring cheap clothing where retail provision was not yet fully developed to cater for all social classes.

Originality/value

The link between all facets of retailing is highlighted, as is the importance of placing informal trading networks within their local retailing environment. Their success relied on participants' knowledge about the goods, on trust in each other and often on expectations of mutuality. The informal trade was an important strategy for working‐class clothing acquisition in both rural and urban areas. The trade in illicit clothing formed a large proportion of the informal trade, and its analysis also sheds light on the informal trade in licit clothing.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 10 August 2010

John Benson and Laura Ugolini

389

Abstract

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Article
Publication date: 10 August 2010

John Benson and Laura Ugolini

Focusing upon British retailing, the purpose of this paper is to review what is known both about the importance of different supply networks at different points in time, and about…

436

Abstract

Purpose

Focusing upon British retailing, the purpose of this paper is to review what is known both about the importance of different supply networks at different points in time, and about the attitudes of different groups of consumers towards these networks.

Design/methodology/approach

Relying primarily upon secondary sources, the paper discusses the ways in which the literature on retailing beyond the shop has developed during the past 40 years, and particularly during the past ten years or so.

Findings

The paper shows that although it is difficult to delineate the scale and importance of retailing beyond the shop, there is a growing consensus that shops were by no means the sole, or necessarily dominant, source of supply. It shows too that consumers' attitudes towards both commercial and non‐commercial exchanges were complex and sometimes contradictory, with non‐commercial transactions particularly difficult to disentangle and interpret. However, it should not be assumed, it is suggested, that notions of value and ties of reciprocity inevitably fell victim to the growing forces of industrialisation and urbanisation.

Originality/value

The paper adopts a broad chronological perspective and introduces readers to sources, evidence, ideas and concepts that shed light on British retail development and change.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 August 2015

Stefan Schwarzkopf

The purpose of this article is to introduce the theme of this special issue. In doing so, the paper argues that marketing historical research is in need of a paradigmatic shift…

1593

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to introduce the theme of this special issue. In doing so, the paper argues that marketing historical research is in need of a paradigmatic shift. Rather than privilege primary and secondary sources that preserve the perspectives and actions of corporate managers and of marketing academics, marketing historians need to open the historical narratives they construct much more than before to the experiences and voices of ordinary consumers, i.e. of those who actually shop and buy and choose. They also need to do more to incorporate into their narratives examples of the value-creation that consumers themselves enact, both inside and outside the sphere of the market.

Design/methodology/approach

By reviewing the state of the marketing historical literature, this paper introduces the “History from Below” school of historical thought into marketing historical research. It also tests to what extent a stronger consumer focus might be able to enrich historical research in marketing.

Findings

Although contemporary marketing historiography is characterized by a richness of themes and methodological approaches, there is still a marked difference between the way marketing academics and historians write the history of marketing and consumption. While, surprisingly, the former often tend to ignore the voices of ordinary consumers, the latter often lack the marketing-related “technical” knowledge to fully understand the significance of specific archival sources they discuss. This means that a genuine “People’s History of Marketing” has yet to be written.

Research limitations/implications

Findings from the paper will be of value to marketing historians who wish to expand the scope and agenda of their research and help historical research move away from narrow managerial perspectives and other “privileged” accounts of marketing.

Originality/value

This paper makes two original contributions. First, it introduces historiographical innovations associated with “History from Below” (social history) into marketing historical scholarship. Second, it attempts to help marketing historians identify alternative sets of primary and secondary sources, e.g. oral history archives, which would allow them to be much more optimistic about their own ability to reconstruct the perspectives of those whose voices are all too often ignored.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

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