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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
21 OCTOBER 2012

Minority Report-style advertising billboards to target consumers

"Researchers at IBM have revealed they are working on technology which will lead to consumers being shown tailor made adverts that reflect their personal interests.

Digital advertising screens are already appearing in train stations, on bus stops and on the sides of buildings, but currently they only show generic adverts for a handful of products.

The new advertising hoardings will behave like those in the film Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise, in which Cruise's character is confronted with digital signs that call out his name as he walks through a futuristic shopping mall.

'John Anderton. You could use a Guinness right about now,' one billboard announces as he walks past.

IBM claims that its technology will help prevent consumers from being subjected to a barrage of irritating advertising because they will only be shown adverts for products that are relevant to them."

(Richard Gray, 01 August 2010, Science Correspondent for The Telegraph)

Fig.1 Uploaded by lucazambrelli on 9 Mar 2008

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
20 FEBRUARY 2010

Walt Disney's Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow

"Take a look at Walt Disney's vision for the city of the future, the Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow or Epcot. 'No city of today will serve as the guide for the city of tomorrow,' serves as a guiding principle as varied ideas from shopping mall living, to freeways, to pedestrian safety, to high speed transit are considered. Disney himself says the city of tomorrow must abandon the old cities and their problems and be built on virgin land from scratch.

From its 'cosmopolitan convention center' to its theme–park shopping districts, Disney envisioned his 50–acre city core, completely enclosed and climate controlled like a shopping mall, hermetically sealed from the natural world. Outside of this air–conditioned environment of shops and offices, apartments, then parks and schools, then suburban houses radiate in a fantasy of controlled zoning where every use is separated from every other use.

Despite being conceived as a modern utopia based around the automobile, Epcot envisions a future of mass transit for the daily commute. 'Freeways will not be EPCOT's major way of entering and leaving the city,' declares a confident narrator. Instead, an electrified monorail and people mover will connect the city and suburb, radiating in all directions from the core. It was envisioned that the primary use of the car would be for 'weekend pleasure trips.'

Repeatedly, the dangers of automobile traffic for pedestrians are cited. The pedestrian is, in fact, declared 'king' as transportation uses, like Epcot's zoning, are completely separated. The pedestrian is 'free to walk and browse without fear of motorized vehicles.' Children and bikes have separate paths in the suburbs for walking or riding to school. Electric vehicles travel on elevated roadway's through Epcot's downtown while underground transit carries workers in and out of the city. Separate facilities for cars and trucks are provided further underground.

Disney did eventually build a prototype city, but the end result was far from what was envisioned for Epcot. The town of Celebration, Florida chose not to abandon the cities of the past but to embrace the patterns that make them so interesting to experience. New Urbanism has been brought in to create a mixed–use town center and compact living. Celebration was just as carefully planned as the Epcot of old, but the end result is quite different."

(Branden Klayko, 20 November 2009, Broken Sidewalk)

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
04 APRIL 2006

Wherever You Go, There You Are: Journeys To The Same Place

"Omnitopia enacts an architectural and perceptual enclave whose apparently distinct locales (and locals) convey inhabitants to a singular place. An imperfect amalgam of Greek and Latin roots constructing an 'all–place,' the term draws its lineage from utopia (non–place) and heterotopia (other–place) to reveal the shift from singular totalizing narratives to overlapping contradictory narratives. A key distinction from heterotopia, however, is omnitopia's shift from separate locale (park, church, graveyard, motel) to complete enclosure that approximates all of urbanity. This enclosure does not reside elsewhere, but 'everywhere.' Heterotopia offers a social safety valve from public life. Omnitopia, on the other hand, constructs a synecdoche of the world, one that is necessarily and strategically incomplete. While the 'entire world' cannot reside within the omnitopian enclosure, one encounters enough of the world to ignore what has been elided. The archetypal omnitopian may be the traveler who flows from international airport to atrium hotel to enclosed shopping mall to theme restaurant to yet another international airport – all without ever walking the streets. Moreover, as our archetypal omnitopian flows from airport to airport, she or he comes to experience them as terminals to the same place."
(Andrew F. Wood)

Wood, Andrew. (2003). A rhetoric of ubiquity: Terminal space as omnitopia. Communication Theory, 13(3), 324–344.

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TAGS

airport • Andrew Wood • arcade • atrium hotel • contradictioncontradictory narratives • enclosed shopping mall • everywhere • heterotopiainternational airportmall • omnitopia • overlap • overlapping • placeplacelessness • same place • shopping mall • synecdoche • themed restaurant • travellerutopia
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