'How the future of shopping was shaped by its past'

21 March 2022

By Rachel Bowlby, Professor of Comparative Literature, UCL.

Back to shops

Read through Rachel Bowlby's article on The Coversation where she explores how the future of shopping was shaped by its past  - "This history stretches back to pedlars and weekly markets and runs through small fixed shops in towns and villages to the grand “destination” city department stores of the last part of the 19th century. Then, in the later 20th century, came self-service, to be followed in recent years by the move online. But shopping history never moves in one single direction or all at once. There have always been regional and chronological divergences from mainstream developments. There are also retailing modes that fall by the wayside and then return at a later date in new guises or with new names. They often have every appearance of being newly invented."