HAI Celebrates the History of Shopping

Date: September 27, 2018
Contact: Anne Strong
Telephone: (301) 279-9697

Laura Starr provided insights into the history of shopping for a documentary by Gwynnie Bee. Click to view the video.

HAI’s Laura Starr was on hand at an exclusive press event hosted by Gwynnie Bee, the apparel subscription rental service. Located in the heart of Times Square, the event celebrated the future of shopping by commemorating its history. Celebrity guest, Jay Manuel of America’s Next Top Model attended, along with editors, writers, and influencers from across the fashion industry.

Gwynnie Bee separates the experience of fashion from the expense. Women join for a monthly fee and have access to an unlimited wardrobe. They can put items directly into their virtual closet and wear and return pieces as frequently as they would like throughout the month. “Gwynnie Bee is an innovator in the retail space,” noted Ms. Starr. “And when you look at the history of retail, you’ll see that how we shop has been constantly reinvented by novel ideas.”

HAI’s Laura Starr with celebrity fashion star Jay Manuel at the Gwynnie Bee media event on the history of shopping.

For example, self-serve shopping was unheard of one hundred years ago – customers gave their orders to a store clerk – until Clarence Saunders opened the first “Piggly Wiggly” grocery in 1916. Seventy years ago, suburbanites had to drive to multiple downtown businesses to shop, until designer Victor Gruen created the first fully-enclosed shopping mall in 1952. And thirty years ago, you had to leave the house to do most of your shopping, until Daniel Kohn and his company, Net Market, created the technology to make the first online purchase possible – when Phil Brandenberger bought “Ten Summoners’ Tales” by Sting on CD on August 11, 1994.

To help Gwynnie Bee tell the story of the history of shopping, HAI researched primary and secondary sources, collecting compelling stories and headlines from the Library of Congress and other major repositories. Gwynnie Bee used the resulting report and print media to develop a documentary and an online timeline. Ms. Starr is featured in the documentary, offering authoritative vignettes on the history of shopping.

As a featured guest at the event, Ms. Starr provided insights into the documentary. Attendees mingled among displayed news headlines that HAI collected which chronicled the evolution of retail. The event capped off with a special screening of a documentary on the history of shopping, followed by a presentation and comments by Jay Manuel. The exclusive event was held on September 25 at the WeWork Space in Times Square, New York. View the documentary online at www.facebook.com/GwynnieBee/videos/549464698837133/.

About HAI

For more than 35 years, HAI has helped clients to bring knowledge forward – use the past to inform the present and prepare for the future. The company’s historians and archivists research and write histories, create educational experiences, preserve and manage historical content, and conduct specialized historical research for corporations, government agencies, law firms, and nonprofit organizations worldwide.

For more information, call (301) 279-9697 or contact HAI today.

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