Transformational retailing and the emergence of a modern brand: Liberty of London, 1875-1900

Nicholas Alexander, Anne Marie Doherty, James Cronin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article considers the role of a transformational retail setting in the development of an iconic brand identity in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The focus of this research is Liberty of London. Through experiential engagement and augmented admission, Liberty created a retail environment that challenged existing practices. Coupled with the development of a brand identity enhanced through authoritative advocacy and consumers’ allegorical encounters with the firm’s core brand message, Liberty achieved the symbolic substantiation
of a distinct taste regime through the market-mediation of authenticity. We discuss how brand representation in a transformational retail setting in the metropolitan market of the late nineteenth century legitimized and structured consumer expectations in a context of growing middle class demand for merchandise with enhanced aesthetic qualities and associated lifestyle values.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
JournalHistory of Retailing and Consumption
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 23 Nov 2020


  • brand identity
  • retail
  • brand message


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