Fashion and commerce: a historical perspective on Australian fashion retailing 1880-1920
Fashion retailing has evolved in response to opportunities and market pressures. It has been both reactive and proactive. For example, Palmer, in 2001, analyses what might be called a partnership between Canadian department stores and European couture houses in the 1950s. Her work affords a rare overview of retailing's fit with fashion design and commercial delivery systems, and is a point of departure for closely examining an earlier period (1880-1920) in Australia. The current paper studies the leading role that department stores played in shaping the Australian fashion scene and the marketing techniques they used. A context, period and country, where a set of major retailers formed the predominant influence on fashion trends, and styles and diffusion throughout the community have been identified. Findings suggest that for the 1880-1920 period the department store retailers were market-driving rather than simply market-driven, implying a more proactive and innovative role for the department stores.
International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management