Cultures of service: strategies of Scottish grocers, 1915-1965

French, M. (2008) Cultures of service: strategies of Scottish grocers, 1915-1965. International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, 18(3), pp. 269-282. (doi: 10.1080/09593960802113794)

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Studies of retailing have highlighted its long-run evolution, particularly the emergence of multiples. Such developments were a challenge to the market position of independent retailers, especially owners of small shops. Such retailers responded through collective action designed to justify their commercial and social functions and to counteract the competitive threats. Recent studies have emphasised the significance of trade associations and collective action in grocery wholesaling in Britain and Ireland. A substantial literature has documented the activities of trade associations representing English grocers. This paper examines the responses of Scottish grocers to their changing environment between 1915 and 1965. It highlights similarities to associational behaviour in England and Canada in terms of unifying independent traders and articulating their concerns in public and to governments. But it emphasises the limitations of collective action among Scottish grocers, highlighting their subordinate relationship to government and the difficulties of modernising their business methods. Of greater significance was the gradual adjustment of their concept of the service provided by local grocery stores.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:retailing; grocery; business history; trade associations
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:French, Professor Michael
Authors: French, M.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Economic and Social History
Journal Name:International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research
ISSN (Online):1466-4402
Published Online:23 June 2008

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