Spree: A Cultural History of Shopping / Edition 1

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Ten years ago, Faith Popcorn declared "the end of shopping" in her bestselling book The Popcorn Report. But from the looks of things, shopping is as pervasive as ever; we are a culture obsessed and beguiled by the desire for consumer goods.

Journalist and shopping addict Pamela Klaffke documents the history of shopping, from a time when cattle were currency to the current age of contemporary shopping phenoms like QVC and eBay.

Topics covered include:

The history of shopping malls and department stores The evolution of retail design Inventions that made shopping easier: the cash -register (1884), the shopping cart (1936), the bar code (1952)
Information on the largest fashion retail chain (The Gap, 3,676 stores), the largest retail firm (Wal-Mart, with annual revenues of $191 billion), and the world’s largest mall (West Edmonton Mall, at 121 acres)
Shopping meccas and customs from around the world The dark side of shopping: kleptomania, shopping addictions, anticonsumerism The myths of shopping: Men Who Hate Shopping and Women Who Love Shoes

Full of fun and informative sidebars and photos, Klaffke’s book demonstrates that how we shop explains a lot about who we are.

Pamela Klaffke is a writer, editor, and media consultant. She is currently the literary editor of the Calgary Herald and her semiweekly column about popular culture trends can often be read in various newspapers across Canada. Spree: A Cultural History of Shopping is her first book.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551521435
  • Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 11/1/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 7
Author's Note 9
i Shopping Gets Its Start 13
ii Consumers and Consumerism 25
iii Inside the Retail World 41
iv Shopping at Home 61
v Never Pay Retail: Shopping for Bargains 89
vi Second-hand Shopping 103
vii Shopping for a Living 121
viii Shopping and the Media 135
ix The Fame Game 153
x Shopping and Gender 165
xi The Dark Side of Shopping 177
xii Shopping the Globe 189
xiii From the Crystal Palace to the Crystal Ball 203
Bibliography 213
Index 222
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2003


    I work in retail, and this book has lots of fun facts about the history of shopping carts and window displays. I bought a copy for my boss, and she mentioned it in the staff newsletter.

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