Selling Groceries: Service, Credit, and Price

Jon Stobart

in Sugar and Spice

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199577927
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744884 | DOI:
Selling Groceries: Service, Credit, and Price

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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This chapter engages with debates over the nature and timing of retail revolution, offering fresh insights from the perspective of the grocery trade. Attention focuses on three areas. First, the importance of ‘traditional’ forms of service‐based retailing and the way in which it related to ideas of sociability. Second, the skills and attributes required of the shopkeeper who sold in this way, and particularly the importance of credit as a mechanism for securing goods and facilitating sales. Third, the emergence of ‘new’ retail practices, including cash sales and fixed prices. The chapter argues that ‘modern’ and traditional practices often went on hand‐in‐hand, procedures being moulded to the changing needs of consumers, and that retailers were active in promoting their wares rather than simply passively responding to shifting demand.

Keywords: service‐oriented selling; credit; cash sales; fixed prices; advertisements; market information

Chapter.  12135 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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