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

Journal article
Authors Johan Hagberg
Daniel Normark
Published in Journal of Historical Research in Marketing
Volume 7
Issue 4
Pages 452-475
ISSN 1755-750X
Publication year 2015
Published at Centre for Retailing
Department of Business Administration, Marketing Group
Centre for Consumer Science
Pages 452-475
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1108/JHRM-06-2014-001...
Keywords retailing, consumption, transformation, mobility, consumer mobility, containers, consumer logistics
Subject categories Business Administration, Economic History

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to follow the gradual transformation of consumer mobility in mid-20th-century Sweden in connection with the introduction of self-service retailing. 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. 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. 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, everyday translations. This paper contributes methodological tools and analyses that account for such mundane transformations.

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