part-time musings

Tag: consumer research

How shoppers helped invent the supermarket

Some research I worked on in 2007 as part of the Reconstructing Landscapes Project has been developed into an article co-authored with Andrew Alexander and published this month by the journal, Enterprise and Society. In ‘Co-Creation of a Retail Innovation’, we examined shoppers’ reactions to the development of early supermarket retailing in post-war Britain and drew on insights from recent research on the role of consumers in innovation to show that more attention needs to be given to the shopper’s input in the debate on retail innovation, including the supermarket.

Shoppers’ contributions to the supermarket innovation are shown to be multi-faceted in nature, incorporating processes of co-production and value creation; processes that were altered in the transition from counter-service to self-service retail environments. Shoppers’ discussions of such alterations were frequently structured around four aspects of interaction; with the physical environment of the store, with the goods for sale, with other shoppers and with shop staff. Continue reading more….


Shop Talk

Oral History Journal vol 37 2009My article ‘Investigating Shopper Narratives on the Supermarket in Early Post-War England, 1945-75’ has just been published in the March issue of Oral History.

The article looks at the complexities surrounding consumer reaction to changes in food shopping between 1945 and 1975 and is based on research we did for the Reconstructing Consumer Landscapes Project. The article introduces approaches to understanding consumers, and looks, in particular, at the reactions of consumers to the self-service retail innovation and the rise of supermarkets when they were introduced in Britain in the early post-war period. The article highlights some of the strengths we observed in our use of oral history interviewing for this type of research, and we also discuss our use of a content analysis approach to analyze material from the interviews.