The first national study of the department store industry, From Main Street to Mall traces the changing economic and political contexts that transformed the American shopping experience in the 20th century. With careful attention to small-town stores as well as glamorous landmarks such as Marshall Field's in Chicago and Wanamaker's in Philadelphia, historian Vicki Howard offers a comprehensive account of the uneven trajectory that brought about the loss of locally identified department store firms and the rise of national chains like Macy's and J. C. Penney. She draws on a wealth of primary source evidence to demonstrate how the decisions of consumers, government policy makers, and department store industry leaders culminated in today's Wal-Mart world. From Main Street to Mall shows that department stores were more than just places to shop.
"From Main Street to Mall offers sharp analysis of American retailing from a new vantage point, advancing our understanding of the department store beyond Macy's and Marshall Field's. A significant contribution." (Susan Strasser, author of Satisfaction Guaranteed: The Making of the American Mass Market)
"A must-read for researchers of American consumer culture and for anyone who loves to shop." (Regina Lee Blaszczyk, author of The Color Revolution)
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