The World of Department Stores

WDS_cover

By Jan Whitaker

272 pages

9½ x 12½ in. , portrait

Over 370 color, b+w illustrations

Hardcover with jacket

ISBN 978-0-86565-264-4

US $60 / CAN $69

Published: Oct, 2011

“Since my visits as a child to La Opera Department Store in Santo Domingo, I have believed that the best department stores are merchants not of clothing or shoes or cosmetics but of dreams. Whitaker’s book is a remarkable around-the-world look at these dream factories. It is an invaluable resource to anyone interested in the business of retailing and to shoppers everywhere.” —Oscar de la Renta

Who first introduced Manolo Blahnik to Americans: Vogue, or a canny buyer at Bendel’s? Where under one roof can shoppers find Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Prada, and Hermès? Here are the great retail palaces—from Harrods to Barneys to Galeries Lafayette—where shoppers spend their day in opulent settings, drifting from cosmetics to shoes, stopping for lunch, the hairdresser, and endless temptations along the way. With photographs and ephemera from all over the world, this lavish book goes beyond in-store extravaganzas to the history of these consumer institutions, the personalities behind them, their vast range of goods, unique architecture, advertising, and associated sociological trends. With perfumed air and chandeliers, department stores have lured millions for over a century with that enticing, dizzying sense that no matter how much you already have, there is always more.

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Jan Whitaker is the author of Service and Style: How the American Department Store Fashioned the Middle Class and Tea at the Blue Lantern Inn: A Social History of the Tea Room Craze in America. An expert on retailing and restaurants, she lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.