Seduction in the City- The Birth of Shopping
The department store, invented in 1852 by French entrepreneur Aristide Boucicaut to target the new middle class woman and attract her to a fantasy land, was definitely one of the cleverest inventions of the industrial revolution. Not only did it literally invent the concept of shopping, it also created consumer culture and sowed the seeds of female emancipation.
The concept was so successful that it was very quickly copied all over the world. The stores invented ever more enticing ideas to draw in customers and sell industrial goods in huge numbers: price tags, discounts, public toilets, easy credit and return policies. The department store sold more than just bargains – it sold a new way of life.