Chapter

Selling Spaces: Display and Storage of Groceries

Jon Stobart

in Sugar and Spice

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199577927
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744884 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199577927.003.0006
Selling Spaces: Display and Storage of Groceries

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This chapter focuses on the spatiality of the shop and how this related to processes of buying and selling. The chapter begins by drawing on inventory and visual evidence to examine the ways in which shop fixtures varied across space and time, arguing that grocers' shops were part of broader processes which placed increasing emphasis on the display of goods. Building on this, the chapter examines the reasons for the apparent growth in emphasis on the display of wares — even of what may seem to be visually unremarkable commodities. This was in part to promote sales, but also to send key messages about the retailer's knowledge and business acumen, and to facilitate and encourage new modes of buying and selling. The chapter argues that the grocer's shop was a respectable space and that grocers played an important part in constructing respectability through consumption.

Keywords: counters; display; shop windows; inventories; reputation; respectability

Chapter.  11951 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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