The age of war, the age of information, the age of technology or the Internet … Of course, one of the eras that began to prevail immediately after the Industrial Revolution and continues to dominate today is the era of consumption. Today, it is possible to see the effects of the age of consumption in every aspect of daily life. Almost unlimited production and consumption, days of incessant discounts, huge shopping centers, customers, sellers, shops, shops … However, in all the consumption frenzy, it is necessary to open a separate arc for the stores. Because some stores; It contains not only the products that are bought and sold, but also important clues about the cyclical change of consumption habits, as well as the effects of breaks in social and cultural life. Here are the 5 oldest stores in history that still exist today…
1. Mitsukoshi, Tokyo, Japan
Yes, the foundations of modern retail and the commercial structure that developed in parallel with it were laid after the industrial revolution. But shops existed long before the revolution! Mitsukoshi’s department store in Tokyo, the capital of Japan, was one of those established long before modern times.
When Mitsukoshi, one of the oldest stores in history, first sold it, the calendars showed 1673. The store, which sold traditional Japanese clothing, and which was called Kimono at the time of its inception, became a pioneer in a very important innovation in the retail sector only 10 years after its inception . In 1683, officials at Mitsukoshi decided it would be best to open a shop where customers could visit and shop, rather than attempting door-to-door sales.
By 1904, Mitsukoshi had become a well-known and respected chain store in the world. Mitsukoshi, which ranks first on our list of the 5 Oldest Stores in History, is among the most prestigious and well-established stores in Japan and the world today.
2. Kendalls, Manchester, England
Kendals, which began operating in Manchester at the heart of the Industrial Revolution, claims to be the city’s first true department store. The date of establishment of the store is 1836. However, the start of the commercial activities of the brand dates back to 1796.
3. Le Bon Marché, Paris, France
In 1838, a small but innovative boutique opened in Paris, the capital of France: Le Bon Marché. The store was purchased in 1852 by two investors, Aristide and Marguerite Boucicaut. Thus began the process that would transform this boutique store in Paris into one of the first modern department stores and even shopping malls in history.
The Boucicaut couple implemented several modern marketing strategies such as exchange, return, fixed price policy and a wide range of products in the store they bought. Moreover, they made great efforts to increase awareness of the store. The couple’s innovative marketing strategies have proven successful. On the other hand, the store was among the first to implement a shopping model in which customers were offered many different products. For this reason, Le Bon Marché can easily be said to be one of the first shopping malls in history.
4. David Jones, Sydney, Australia
An immigrant named David Jones, who lived in Sydney, Australia and made a living as a tailor, decided to open a small shop in 1838. This is how the story of the David Jones chain of stores began, which would become one of the oldest and most important brands in history …
Continuing its activities as one of Sydney’s modest department stores, David Jones managed to become one of the city’s leading retailers in the late 19th century. Expanding its product range from textiles to cosmetics, from accessories to home décor over the years, David Jones has become a world-famous brand for its policy of prioritizing offering a personalized shopping experience to its customers.
5. Harrods, London, England
Not surprisingly, some of the oldest stores in history are in England, the land where the Industrial Revolution began. It should come as no surprise that today some of these stores have become symbols of luxury and elegance. Yes, we are talking about Harrods, one of the most popular department stores today …
Although its first commercial activities date back to 1832, Harrods first appeared before its customers as a department store in 1849. Founded by Charles Henry Harrod, this store managed to become an iconic place where luxury goods and services are offered, not only commodities but also Lifestyle. So much so that even the first escalator in England was used in one of the branches of this store in 1898.
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