Most marketing scholars implicitly consider independent merchants as conservative and passive actors, and study the modernization of retailing via department stores, chains and supermarkets. In this innovative study, Franck Cochoy challenges this perspective and takes a close look at the transformation of commerce through the lens of Progressive Grocer, an American trade magazine launched in 1922.
Aimed at modernizing small independent grocery stores, Progressive Grocer sowed the seeds for modern self-service which spread in small retail outlets, sometimes well before the advent of the large retail spaces which are traditionally viewed as the origin of the self-service economy. The author illustrates how this publication had a highly influential role on what the trade considered to be best practice and shaped what was considered to be cutting edge. By displacing the consumer and their agency from the centre of analytic attention, this innovative book highlights the complex impact of social, technical and retailing environment factors that structure and delimit consumer freedom in the marketplace.
This detailed critical analysis of the origins of self-service will be of interest to a wide variety of scholars not only in marketing and consumer research, but also in business history, sociology and cultural studies.
'Franck Cochoy is one of the most theoretically adept scholars working in marketing and consumer research at the moment. This book is a major contribution to the history of marketing theory and practice. It demands attention.' - Mark Tadajewski, Professor, Durham University, UK
Introduction 1. How To Read Progressive Grocer 2. Making People do Business with Words-Things 3. The Beginnings of the Progressive Grocer: Improving commerce before transforming it 4. Transforming Commerce: A Business of Pens and Brands 5. Rolling Stores, or The Tour of Trolleys 6. Conclusion
It is increasingly acknowledged that an awareness of marketing history and the history of marketing thought is relevant for all levels of marketing teaching and scholarship. Marketing history includes, but is not limited to, the histories of advertising, retailing, channels of distribution, product design and branding, pricing strategies, and consumption behaviour – all studied from the perspective of companies, industries, or even whole economies. The history of marketing thought examines marketing ideas, concepts, theories, and schools of marketing thought including the lives and times of marketing thinkers.
This series aims to be the central location for the publication of historical studies of marketing theory, thought and practice, and welcomes contributions from scholars from all disciplines that seek to explore some facet of marketing and consumer practice in a rigorous and scholarly fashion. It will also consider historical contributions that are conceptually and theoretically well-conceived, that engage with marketing theory and practice, in any time period, in any country.