Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

    Advertising and the character of English provincial department stores, c.1880–1914

    Stobart, Jon ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9771-4741 (2021) Advertising and the character of English provincial department stores, c.1880–1914. History of Retailing and Consumption, 7 (1). pp. 98-114. ISSN 2373-518X

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    Provincial department stores are slowly coming out of the shadow of their metropolitan counterparts, increasingly being recognised as innovative and dynamic in their approach to retailing. In a British context, they are generally seen as falling into one of two categories, targeting upper and middle-class customers or those from the working classes. However, there has been little attempt to consider how this differentiation was reflected in or created by their marketing activities: how they promoted themselves to these very different customer bases. This short paper examines the advertisements placed in provincial newspapers by two Manchester department stores during what is often seen as their heyday. It addresses three related questions: how did their advertising campaigns develop over time, to what extent were they differentiated by the ‘type’ of store, and how did this relate to the broader image of the store?

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