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Evolution of the retail trade 2015 : Evolution of the retail trade in the 20th century. Social, economic and political perspectives.


When Sep 24, 2015 - Sep 25, 2015
Where Paris
Submission Deadline Jan 31, 2015
Categories    history   business history   economic history   retail history

Call For Papers

For doctoral and post-doctoral students : A two-day workshop dedicated to modern retail history. Paris, 24-25 September 2015.
Open to researchers from any discipline and any country, as long as their paper is related to historical dynamics of retail trades in the twentieth century.
Professors and recognized scholars will supervise the different sessions.
Deadline for proposals : January 31st 2015
(Accomodation and meals will be met by the organizers)

Evolution of the retail trade in the 20th century.
Social, economic and political perspectives.

Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Workshop, 24-25 September 2015, Paris
Thomas Buckley - Tristan Jacques - Olivier Londeix
Henley Business School, Reading - Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris Ouest Nanterre la Défense

At a time of unprecedented change in retail sectors across the globe, with the existence of conventional retailing models now being challenged, examining long-term patterns and the drivers of retail change has never been more pertinent. Historical studies of retail, however, are a work in progress: some foundations have been laid, further advances are now required. If the department stores of the 19th century have largely attracted the attention of historians, the evolution of the retail industry in the 20th century, including the diffusion of self-service, the growth of discount and box stores, and the availability of access to consumer credit have, in contrast, been relatively neglected.
In response to the necessity for further research, we propose to hold a two-day workshop concentrating on the historical dynamics of the retail trades. Inspired by seminars held at the University of Wolverhampton1 and by the pioneering work of Jessen and Langer2 on retail innovation and knowledge transfer, we hope to enable researchers from different national contexts to expand on existing knowledge by exploring a range of economic and socio political aspects focused on the retail industry. The workshop aims to augment the historical perspective of research pursued by geographers and economists3. Despite the wish to promote historical perspectives, the study of such a vast theme is naturally inclined toward inter-disciplinarily contributions. We thus encourage contributions from sociologists, geographers, jurists and economists. Moreover, although attention will be primarily focused on Europe, no regional boundaries are imposed and papers on other regions are welcomed.

The workshop will focus on three principal topics of investigation
First, we want to review the evolution of retail structures and practices in the 20th century by exploring, in a number of national contexts, the diffusion of new retail methods and of different retail organizations. We aim to pinpoint different periods of retail changes in the twentieth century, notably by examining the profile of retail entrepreneurs, the changing role of consumers and how macroeconomic developments affected the retail industry.
Second, we want to question the economic and business consequences of the changes that occurred in retail structures and practices over the 20th Century. This topic explores efficiency improvements, changes in prices and costs, the extent and implications of market concentration, and the retail strategies and systems of entrepreneurs and retail firms.
The final topic assesses the socio-political aspects of change in the retail industry. This encompasses research examining the decline of small shops and subsequent problems it caused, on the desertion of rural areas and city centers, and the changing relationship between producers and retailers or, alternatively, the management of these issues by authorities, at both the local and national level.

Dinner on Thursday, breakfast and lunch on Friday, and accommodation for Thursday night will be met by the organizers. Participants must fund their own transportation costs.
We hope and aspire to see all contributions to the workshop published in a collected volume or a special edition.
If you are interested, send a proposal (1 page max.) and a brief c.v., by January 31st, 2015
Thomas Buckley, & Tristan Jacques,

(1) Center for the History of Retailing and Distribution (CHORD), University of Wolverhampton.
(2) Jessen, Ralph, Langer, Lydia, Transformations of retailing in Europe after 1945. Ashgate, 2012, 203 p.
(3) Ex. Davies, Ross L., Retail planning policies in Western Europe. New-York : Routledge, 1995, 298 pages.
Colla, Enrico [dir.], Réglementation et commerce en Europe : les effets de la réglementation sur les stratégies

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