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Repurposing Retail Premises: The Life and Times of 54-56 Fossgate, York
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food and Nutrition.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9357-5576
dkimaging.
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

We are increasingly familiar with demise of retailers who were important for a while, were seemingly indispensable for customer needs and then slipped first into decline, then to nostalgic reflection. Seldom, though, are we able to photograph the last days of a once vibrant business and collect reminiscences of the owners.

The Army and Navy store in Fossgate, York, opened in 1919 and closed in 2012. Over that period it had reinvented itself several times to address changing customer needs and the premises’ interior was occasionally rearranged to provide appropriate sales and storage areas. It was famous locally for the traditional counter service internal configuration, as well as for the varied workwear, outdoor leisure clothing and equipment it stocked. Eventually, market changes overwhelmed its ability to adapt and, with retirement, the premises were sold to become a bar-bistro. While this is consistent with the current narrative of decline in retail diversity on urban streets, it has to be remembered that these premises had been repurposed several times before 1919 and were part of a longer-term dynamic of business initiation and extinction. The Fossgate premises illustrate a longer-term historical reality sometimes overlooked in the genuine collective sense of loss felt when a familiar shop closes: the repurposing of commercial buildings is not restricted to our own times although each event will be produced by distinctive conditions.

Our presentation today provides a photographic record of the interior, a brief oral history from audio recordings taken at the time, and is set in the context of changed ownership and purpose over the years as reflected in newspaper archive material.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
National Category
History and Archaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-152349OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-152349DiVA, id: diva2:1253071
Conference
Retailing, Architecture and Material Culture: Historical Perspectives [CHORD Conference, University of Wolverhampton, UK, 22 May 2018]
Available from: 2018-10-03 Created: 2018-10-03 Last updated: 2018-10-03Bibliographically approved

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Lyon, Phil

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf