February 1, 2020 Forthcoming
Reference - 224 Pages - 55 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138344723 - CAT# K394607
Series: Routledge Research in Interior Design
Designed to Sell presents an engaging account of mid-twentieth century department store design and display in America from the 1930s to the 1960s. It traces the development of post-war philosophies of retail design that embodied aesthetics and function and new modes of merchandise display, resulting in the emergence of a new type of industrial designer.
The evolution of aesthetics in department stores during this period reflected larger cultural shifts in consumer behaviour and lifestyle. Designed to Sell explores these changes using five key case studies and original archival sources to reveal the link between designers and consumption beyond the design of individual objects. It argues that design is not simply connected to retail consumption, but that it is capable of controlling how and where customers shop and what they are drawn to purchase.
This book contextualises this discussion and brings it up to date for students and scholars interested in design, retail and interior history.
Scope and Thesis
Note on Sources
1 Setting the Stage: Design and Display at the Turn of the Twentieth Century
Merchandising at the Turn of the Century
Spectacle and the Museumification of Displays
Display Men, Window Dressers, and the First Merchandisers
Display Before Visual Merchandising: "Scientific Selling"
2 The Development of Visual Merchandising
Professionalization of Interior Display
The Introduction of "Visual Merchandising"
3 Downtown Remodeling: Implementing New Conversations
Raymond Loewy and The Foley Brothers Department Store
Gimbels Gets The Raymond Loewy "Magic Touch"
4 The Challenge of Efficiency in a Specialty Shop
Differences in Display: Merchandising in Upscale Specialty Stores
Neiman Marcus, 1941 and 1953
5 Seeing Change: The "Personality" of a Store
Early Suburban Branch Locations
"Informality" at Neiman Marcus, Preston Center
Raymond Loewy Associates’ "Community" Building
6 "Image Building" In the Shopping Center, the 1960s
From Small-Town Store to National Retailer: The J.C. Penney Company
Together Under One Roof: The NorthPark Mall