Sales and Advertising Rivalry in Interwar US Department Stores
AbstractDepartment stores represented one of the most advertising-intensive sectors of American inter-war retailing. Yet it has been argued that a competitive spiral of high advertising spending, to match the challenge of other local department stores, contributed to a damaging inflation of costs that eroded long-term competitiveness. We test these claims, using both qualitative archival data and establishment-level national data sets. Returns to stores’ advertising are shown to have fallen over the period, while own advertising led to retaliatory advertising by rival department stores, which substantially lowered returns on advertising dollars in the 1930s (but not the 1920s).
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Henley Business School, Reading University in its series Economics & Management Discussion Papers with number em-dp2009-05.
Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 01 May 2010
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Department stores; Interwar U.S. economic history; Advertising; Marketing;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
- M37 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Advertising
- N82 - Economic History - - Micro-Business History - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-04-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2009-04-13 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-IND-2009-04-13 (Industrial Organization)
- NEP-MKT-2009-04-13 (Marketing)
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