‘In the best position to reap mutually beneficial results’: Sole-agency agreements and the distribution of consumer durables in inter-war Britain

Nicholas D. Wong, Andrew Popp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article uses a case-study approach to explore the use of exclusive sole-agency agreements in the distribution and retailing of specialty branded consumer durables in inter-war Britain, a neglected topic in the business history literature. Utilising an extensive correspondence between piano manufacturer Broadwood and Sons, and Liverpool-based musical instrument retailer Rushworth and Dreaper (with comparisons made with two smaller sets of manufacturer–retailer correspondence) we argue that the stability of a sole-agency agreement encouraged the emergence of a highly reciprocal and collaborative relationship that led to innovations in marketing, selling, branding and product development. We urge a reconsideration of the value and effect of sole-agency agreements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)884-907
JournalBusiness History
Volume60
Issue number6
Early online date7 Aug 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes

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