The history of the department store has moved into the limelight in recent years. After many decades in which it was almost exclusively historians of retailing and company biographers who were interested in the phenomenon, the department store has now come to attract the attention of historians of culture, consumption, gender, urban life and much more. Indeed, the department store in its classic era of expansive growth has often seemed better than anything else to embody the cultural and social modernity of its time.
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