High street/main street

Authored by: Ian Mitchell

The Routledge Companion to the History of Retailing

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138675087
eBook ISBN: 9781315560854
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



This chapter takes a broadly chronological view of the evolution of high street/main street in Europe and in the United States of America. As shops became widespread in the late medieval and early modern periods, a recognisable high street emerged and evolved. Between 1700 and 1850, the high street became a place of display and leisure where shopping, shop window browsing and socialising flourished. 1850 to 1970 was the era of the classic high street/main street when the mix of large stores and independent shops dominated shopping and drew consumers into the downtown areas of both American and European cities. American main street is explored in some depth. Finally, current issues around the decline or possible demise of high street are discussed. Is there a future for high street/main street as shopping moves away from urban centres into out-of-town shopping malls or into the virtual world of the Internet

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.