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16 SEPTEMBER 2013

Robert Peston Goes Shopping: shopping and the high street retailer

"In this new three–part BBC Two series, Robert Peston tells the colourful story of shopping in Britain since the Second World War. Using rarely seen archive and interviews with the key players of British retail, Peston explores how shopping has changed–and how it's changed us.

He tells the story behind some of our favourite high street stores, including Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury's and Tesco. He explains how we fell in love with shopping, but allowed the love affair to become too passionate, so much so that many of us ended up in chronic debt. And he shows how retail is now in the grips of a revolution as it attempts to come to terms with the rise of online shopping and the fallout of the financial crisis.

In the first episode, Seduction, Robert Peston tells how shopping in Britain was transformed from a chore to be endured into our favourite pastime. In the years of austerity and rationing after the Second World War, shopping was drab. There were long queues, yet there was little to buy.

But in the economic boom of the 1950s, consumerism took off. Marks and Spencer led the way with a mix of quality, value and customer service. From America came self–service supermarkets, which changed the way we shop. Then came out–of–town superstores–one–stop shops which fed the need for convenience as car ownership and the numbers of working women rose in the 1960s.

Clever retailers learned to adapt to cater for the new markets of the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties fashion boutiques: Chelsea Girl, for instance, catered for the emerging teenage market, while the career woman was served by Next.

By the 1980s, shopping had been transformed into a leisure activity–a fundamental shift confirmed by the opening of Britain's first large out–of–town shopping mall in 1986. Gateshead's MetroCentre was more than just a shopping centre–it was a leisure complex complete with restaurants, cinema, and even a fun fair. Shopping was king."

(BBC Media Centre)

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TAGS

1950s1960s1980sASOSausterityBBC Two • car ownership • click and collect • consumerismconvenience • David Sainsbury • Dixonseconomic boomfinancial crisis • George Davies • high street shops • high street stores • Jane Snowball • leisure activity • leisure complex • m-commerceMarks and Spencer • Michael Aldrich • Mrs Snowball • multi-channel retailing • Next Retail Ltd • one-stop shops • online shopping • out-of-town • out-of-town superstores • pawnbroker • payday loan lender • rationing • retail historyretail storeretailers • Robert Peston • Robert Peston Goes Shopping (2013) • Sainsburys • self-service supermarket • shoppingshopping behaviourshopping centreshopping mallsocial shopping • Stanley Kalms • superstore • Teleputer • TescoUK • working women

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
15 DECEMBER 2012

The Ghosts of Oxford Street: Malcolm McLaren's 1991 musical interpretation of London's famous shopping street

"From humble country road to the the most fashionable street in Europe, Oxford Street has been home to such colourful characters as highwayman Jack Wild, writer and opium addict Thomas de Quincy and shopping impresario Gordon Selfridge.

The Happy Mondays, Rebel MC, Tom Jones and Sinead O'Connor join in a unique and eclectic musical celebration of this retail mecca and its history."

(Channel 4)

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TAGS

1991 • Alison Limerick • Ann of Oxford Street • Anne Lambton • Bryony Brind • Channel 4 • choirs • Christmas • Christmas past • citycolourful characterscountry road • Duke of York • eclectic • fashionable street • Gordon Selfridge • highwayman • history • impresario • interpretation • Jack Wild • John Altman • John Pickard • King George • Kirsty MacColl • Kitty Fisher • Lady Archer • Leigh Bowery • London • Malcolm McLaren • Matthew Byam-Shaw • music • musical • musical (genre) • musical celebration • musical interpretation • Nick Musker • opium addict • Oxford Street • Rebecca Frayn • Rebel MC • retail history • retail mecca • Rowetta Satchell • Shane MacGowan • Shaun Ryder • shopping • Sinead OConnor • The Ghosts of Oxford Street • The Happy Mondays • Thomas de Quincy • Tom Jones • Tommy Roberts • UK

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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