The department store is one of the cleverest inventions of the industrial revolution. Not only does it literally invent the concept of shopping, but it also creates consumer culture and sows the seeds to female emancipation. In 1852, a French entrepreneur, Aristide Boucicaut creates the worlds first department store, Le Bon Marché. His genius idea. Target the new middle class women and attract them in a fantasy land where all types of goods are available and where they can go un-chaperoned. The concept is so successful that it is very quickly copied all over the world. Stores like Selfridges in London, Myers in Melbourne, Macys in New York invent ever more enticing ideas to attract customers and sell industrial goods in huge numbers: price tags, discounts, public toilets, easy credit and return policies. The department store sells more than just bargains it sells a new life. Through expert interviews, beautiful photography and extraordinary diary excerpts, Seduction in the City tells the untold social history of the phenomenon of shopping that takes hold of the world and transforms the lives of women, national economies and societies forever.
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