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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Retail Nation

Department Stores and the Making of Modern Canada

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Retail Nation

Department Stores and the Making of Modern Canada

The experience of walking down a store aisle – replete with displays, salespeople, and infinite choice – is so common we often forget retail has a short history. Retail Nation traces Canada’s transformation into a modern consumer society back to an era – 1890 to 1940 – when department stores such as Eaton’s ruled the shopping scene and promised to strengthen the nation. Department stores emerge as agents of modern nationalism, but the nation they helped to define – white, consumerist, middle-class – was more limited, and contested, than nostalgic portraits of the early department store suggest.

320 pages


Table of Contents

Introduction: Canadian Consumer Society

1 Rise of Mass Retail

2 Creating Modern Canada

3 Fathers of Mass Merchandising

4 Crafting the Consumer Workforce

5 Shopping, Pleasure, and Power

6 Working at the Heart of Consumption

7 Criticizing the Big Stores

Epilogue: Canadian Institutions?

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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