Åt var och en efter behov? : En studie av lanthandeln i Revsundsregionen i Östra Jämtland 1870-1890
Sammanfattning: This dissertation concerns the rural retail trade (lanthandel) in the Revsund area 1870-1890. The area was industrialised from the 1850s by the inland expansion of the forestry and timber industries. The Free Trade Acts in 1864 paved the way for retailers outside the towns to play an important role in supplying the population with goods. The retail trade expanded over the whole period, but most importantly in 1871/75 and 1881/85. The growth was influenced by regional economic trends and the coming of the railway. During the 1880s there was a concentration of the retail trade as the numbers of retailers fell, while their averageincome grew. The evidence also suggests an increase in the division of labour among theretailers, as a few larger enterprises became suppliers to minor local retailers.Location, size and company type seem to have caused differences between three investigated retailers regarding their suppliers, their assortment of goods, and the social composition and overall behaviour of customers. General traits were that much demanded and bulky goods (groceries and iron ware) came from suppliers in Norrland, while other goods (textiles, clothes, household goods) came from other parts of Sweden. All three outlets were general stores. Freeholding farmers were the most important customers. The average volume of purchases was small and purchases were made infrequently. The larger retailers, a limited company and a partnership, took supplies from a wider area than the smaller retailer, a private enterprise, and the larger retailers had a wider and deeper product mix. Location mattered in that the retailer located in a parish centre where there were few competitors had more customers from social groups other than freeholders, as well as covering a wider geographical region, than the other two retailers, both located in a sparsely populated area. Being a consumer co-operative possibly explains why one retailer had a relatively large number of tenant farmers as customers.It is argued that the structure and organisation of the rural retail trade for the Revsundarea is applicable to the whole region of southern Norrland.
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