Twentieth-century retail responses: from mass to niche marketing
Much of the success of the twentieth-century house furnishing multiples has been based on their promotion and use of credit selling, which they made respectable. It is the responsibility of the intelligent public to improve the character and stimulate the enterprise of the retail furnisher. The links between branded goods and resale price maintenance are well known; in the case of twentieth-century furniture retailing, price maintenance, even if not strictly enforced, supported the margins of both the full service retailers and those with hire purchase business. It is likely that the department stores will carry on their leadership of the branded end of the furniture market, but will find it increasingly difficult to compete on price and choice with the large out-of-town retail stores. More directed niche marketing, such as the 'Allders at Home', which is an example of a specialized spin-off from the main department store group.