Mail order retailing in Britain : a business and social history / Richard Coopey, Sean O'Connell, and Dilwyn Porter
- General mail order retailing in Britain : origins and development till 1939. The origins of mail order retailing. General mail order retailing in Britain before 1914. Mail order houses during the First World War. The expansion of mail order retailing in the 1920s. Mail order's corporate landscape transformed in the 1930s -- The evolution of mail order retailing in post-war Britain. Mail order retailing in the Second World War. Mail order retailing and post-war austerity, c. 1945-51. The heyday of traditional mail order retailing, c. 1950-80. Congeniality, convenience, catalogues, and credit. 'Mail order is dead. Long live home shopping' -- Working-class life, consumer credit, and the making of agency mail order. Consumer credit and the working-class family. The development of mail order agencies. Great universal stores, Littlewoods, and the club system. The feminization of mail order agency -- Mail order agency in post-war Britain : the agent, the company, and the customer. The extent of mail order agency. The social characteristics of mail order agents and customers. Agency functions and types of agencies. The company-agent relationship. Agents and customers. The disappearing agent -- Inside the firm : mail order, efficiency, and rationalization-from personal to organizational control. Warehousing, order processing, and stock control. Rationalization and personal control. The Bedaux system at Empire stores. Rationalization and personal control into the post-war era. Mail order warehousing in the post-war period. Working in the mail order warehouse in the post-war era -- Disconnecting the personal : computers and mail order. Office mechanization in the 1940s and 1950s. Freemans and the LEO computer. The diffusion of computerization in the 1960s. Real-time computing and the mail order business. Computerization and the mail order warehouse. Reconfiguring the relationship with the customer. Hanging on the telephone--. Credit referencing -- The next shopping revolution. Technologies and cultures. The false dawn of electronic shopping. Internet shopping consolidation and growth -- Conclusion.
- "This book traces the rise of firms including Kay and Co., Grattan, Empire Stores and Littlewoods. It examines the ways in which these firms created and exploited social networks through the agency system and credit provision among the British working class. The book also traces the origins of internet-based home shopping in the UK"--Provided by publisher.
- 0198296509 (alk. paper)
- Bibliography Note:
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
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