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Seduction in the City: the Birth of Shopping 2011

  • 2011-08-02T21:00:00-07:00
  • SBS (AU)
  • 2011-07-10T17:00:00-07:00
  • 50 mins
  • 1 hour, 40 mins
  • Documentary, Special Interest
The department store is one of the cleverest inventions of the industrial revolution. Not only did it literally invent the concept of shopping, it also sowed the seeds of female emancipation and created the consumer culture. In 1852, a French entrepreneur, Aristide Boucicaut created the world’s first department store, Le Bon Marché. His genius idea? To target the new middle class woman and attract her to a fantasy land where all types of goods were available and where she could go un-chaperoned. The concept was so successful that it was very quickly copied all over the world. Stores like Selfridges in London, Myer in Melbourne, Macy’s in New York al invented ever more enticing ideas to attract customers and sell in goods in huge numbers - price tags, discounts, public toilets, easy credit and return policies. The department store sells more than just bargains – it sells a new life. Through expert interviews, beautiful photography and extraordinary diary excerpts, “Seduction in the City” tells the untold social history of the phenomenon of shopping that took hold of the world and transformed the lives of women, national economies and societies forever.

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