DEPARTMENT STORE AS SPACE OF URBAN CONSUMPTION IN 1920-1930S IN SOVIET UKRAINE

Authors

  • Iryna Skubii Kharkiv Petro Vasylenko National Technical University of Agriculture

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.15407/mics2019.04.162

Keywords:

department store, city, consumption, Soviet society, 1920-1930s, Ukraine

Abstract

In the article, the features of department stores as trade establishments in Soviet Ukraine in 1920-1930s are examined. Department store is investigated as a unique space of urban consumption. It got the special place in ideology and propaganda and “fixed the victories and advantages of Soviet cultural trade”, the democratization of consumption. Department stores were to become a model of successful Soviet trade management and marketing.

In urban space, department stores became the symbol of novelty, sufficiency and example for other trade institutions. Special attention is given to the transition in public discourse the image from “customer” to “consumer” during 1920-1930s. The innovativeness of univermags let to the use of modern tendencies in the arrangement of space, in particular, window displays and counters.

It has been analyzed how department stores were equipped according to the last requirements of time with the help of mechanical devices and refrigeration units.

The experience existence of universal type institutions was not as unique as it was in line with the world tendencies of trade modernization. But by borrowing and transforming the idea of universal trade into Soviet realities, the Bolshevik authorities gave it new meaning. In the Ukrainian department stores at that time a new commercial space was planned for the premises, showcases and counters were equipped, but despite these innovations, the shortage of goods, queues and state control of the market continued to remain. It has been concluded that state department stores could have become a model of successful Soviet management and marketing in the field of trade. Nevertheless, it was not enough to create a properly equipped store space, because consumer and department store was dependent on the ideological and economic policies of Soviet authorities.

At the same time, the opening of department stores became a new stage in the development of Soviet trade, where the consumer could have become the main actor of these processes. However, in spite of this fact, during 1920-1930s a “new Soviet consumer” with its culture and consumption practices was created.

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Published

2018-11-07

How to Cite

Skubii, I. (2018). DEPARTMENT STORE AS SPACE OF URBAN CONSUMPTION IN 1920-1930S IN SOVIET UKRAINE. City History, Culture, Society, (4), 162–175. https://doi.org/10.15407/mics2019.04.162

Issue

Section

Modernization in Cities: Empire and Soviet Frameworks