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Coming of the Supermarket : English Consumer Reactions to a Retail Innovation (Hardcover) (Gareth Shaw &
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Post-war Britain saw a transformation in the way people shopped for food: counter service shops were gradually replaced by the self service store, which evolved into the supermarket. The supermarket had a huge impact on shopping, revolutionising the layout of the shop and offering a dizzying array of new goods under one roof. But little is known about how consumers reacted to these new spaces. This book examines the themes of retail innovation and consumer reactions in the context of self-service and the supermarket in post-war Britain. In doing so it reveals how knowledge of innovations is transferred between retail organizations and between countries, as the rise of self-service and the supermarket spread from North America to the UK with the 'Americanization' of retailing practice. How consumers in Britain reacted to the self-service and supermarket innovations is explored in the second part of the book, which makes use of a unique and large-scale database of post-war consumers including a national questionnaire of over 1100 shoppers between 1945 and 1975 and over 70 oral histories detailing individual's shopping habits and their reactions to self-service. This new, primary data coupled with secondary survey material presents for the first time an opportunity to research and understand both the supermarket as a retail innovation and the reaction of British consumers to such developments.