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The market hall revisited

Linköping Studies in Arts and Science No. 497
Linköping University, Department of Culture Studies (Tema Q)
Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture (ISAK)
Linköping 2009
Cultures of consumption in urban food
retail during the long twentieth century
Jenny Lee
Linko¡ing Studies in Arts and Science No. 497

At tle Faculty ol Arts and Science at Linko¡ings universitet, researcl
and doctoral studies are carried out witlin broad ¡roblen areas. Re-
searcl is organized in interdisci¡linary researcl environnents and
doctoral studies nainly in graduate sclools. Jointly, tley ¡ublisl tle
series Linko¡ing Studies in Arts and Science. Tlis tlesis cones lron
tle De¡artnent ol Culture Studies (Tena Q) at tle De¡artnent lor
Studies ol Social Clange and Culture (ISAK).
At tle De¡artnent ol Culture Studies (Tena kultur ocl sanlalle,
Tena Q), culture is studied as a dynanic held ol ¡ractices, includ-
ing agency as well as structure, and cultural ¡roducts as well as tle
way tley are ¡roduced, consuned, connunicated and used. Tena
Q is ¡art ol tle larger De¡artnent lor Studies ol Social Clange and
Culture (ISAK).
De¡artnent ol Culture Studies (Tena Q)
Linko¡ings universitet
SE-581 83 Linköping

Jenny Lee
Tle narket lall revisited
Cultures ol consun¡tion in urban lood retail
during tle long twentietl century
Ldition 1.1
ISBN. 978-91-7393-520-3
ISSN. 0282-9800

© Jenny Lee 2009
De¡artnent ol Culture Studies (Tena Q)
De¡artnent lor Studies ol Social Clange and Culture (ISAK)
Lnglisl ¡roolreading. Stelan Pessirilo
Cover design. Dennis Netzell
Book design & ty¡esetting. Francis Lee
Printed by LiU-Tryck, Linko¡ing, 2009
Printed witl su¡¡ort lron Kungl. Gustav Adolls Akadenien lor
svensk lolkkultur and Stiltelsen Axel Hirscls lond
Set in KLIM National and ITC Legacy Seril
Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Pur¡ose and researcl questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Tle origins ol tle Swedisl narket lalls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Vly Stockloln· . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
2. Theoretical perspectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Food ¡rovisioning in cities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Consun¡tion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Tle city . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Quality, rationality and autlenticity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
3. Ethnography and history: a long-distance relationship? . . 37
Metlod and naterial lor ¡art 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Metlod and naterial lor ¡art 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Metlod and naterial lor ¡art 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Part 1. Dreams of modernity: the rise of
the market hall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
4. Stockholm on the brink of modernity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
Congested city . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
Sla¡ing tle narket . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
Transcending tle ¡rovincial claracter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Tle Market Connittee undertakes an investigation . . . . 79
Rules and regulations on tle rise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
Market lalls as generators ol nodernity and
urban ¡restige· . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
Tle larsl realities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
5. Speeding into modernity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
Tle Food Connitee and tle cost ol living . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
City connission agents, central narket lalls,
and ¡ublic abattoirs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
Munici¡al control. securing a lood su¡¡ly . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
Buying ¡rivate narket lalls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
Reinlorcing rules and regulations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
Tle tide is turning. retail narket lalls under criticisn . 118
Rescuing tle narket lall· . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120
Tle niddlenan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
Gravitating towards wlolesale narket lalls . . . . . . . . . . . 125
Coda. Waning symbolic power: how the market hall lost its al-
lure of modernity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
Part 2. Dreams of rationality: the decline of
the market hall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135
6. Modernity in action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
Clinate ol clange . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
Agriculture leading lor rationalization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142
Rational designs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145
Ran¡ant distribution costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147
Tle ¡ackaging revolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151
Tle sladow ol tle narket lall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157
7. Distribution and retail: the silent revolution? . . . . . . . . . . . 165
Standardizing consuners, standardizing retail . . . . . . . . 165
Go Vest! Passion and resistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170
Tle sell-service lornat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174
Sell-service triun¡ls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178
Structural rationalization backhres . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183
Out ol tle sladows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186
Coda. Decline of rationality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195
Part3. Dreams of nostalgia: the return
of the market hall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201
8. Setting the Scene. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205
Tle s¡atial dinension . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 206
Tle ten¡oral dinension . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225
Tle beneht ol con¡arisons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227
9. Customers: the consumers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229
Vly lilestyle· . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 231
Vlo are tle custoners· . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233
Regulars and originals. nanaging sociability . . . . . . . . . . 239
Dilhcult custoners and negotiating con¡laints . . . . . . . 243
Tle intangible quality ol atnos¡lere . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 247
Tle elusive claracter ol quality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 251
Lx¡ectations ol craltsnansli¡ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 255
Tle connon ground ol connoisseursli¡ . . . . . . . . . . . . 258
10. Vendors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263
How to run a business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265
Tle narket lall lilestyle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 270
Con¡etition, coo¡eration, and conßict . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 274
Tle loss ol tradition· . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277
Tle in¡ortance ol knowledge and contacts . . . . . . . . . . . 279
Building credibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 283
Visual and s¡atial teclniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 290
An econony ol trust . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 294
Coda. The power of place . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 301
Epilogue. New beginnings? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 305
Sources and literature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 325
My interest in narket lalls began wlen I noved to Toulouse in tle soutl
ol France. Coning lone late at niglt, we used to go to Marchés Victor
Hugo, ¡ick out a steak and drink a last glass ol wine at tle bar in a corner
ol tle narket wlile tle clel cooked tle neat lor us. Tlis was deligltlul,
and adding to tle ex¡erience was tle leeling ol being ¡art ol sonetling
s¡ecial. Tlis was outside tle ordinary o¡ening lours, tle narket lall was
waking u¡ and everytling was being ¡re¡ared lor tle busy connerce day.
On Sundays, tlere was anotler narket closer to lone, Marché des Carmes,
wlere we could do dinner lood slo¡¡ing. During regular o¡ening lours,
vendors and custoners engaged in lriendly and knowledgeable discus-
sions over lood, and I enjoyed tle atnos¡lere ol tle not so elegant, but
clarning, narket lall at tle botton ol a ¡arking garage.
Alnost ten years later, I was acce¡ted as a doctoral student at Linko¡ing
university. I lad tle leeling tlat oceans ol tine lay alead ol ne, and ¡ro-
lessors Bengt-Lrik Lriksson and Roger Qvarsell generously encouraged
tle new doctoral students to ex¡lore tleir own interests, gently guiding
us by ¡resenting various tleoretical ¡ers¡ectives, en¡irical naterials and
relevant literature. Tlank you. Tlis tine was truly ins¡iring.
I lave been lortunate enougl to lave a renarkable su¡ervisor in Roger
Qvarsell. Your lriendly su¡¡ort, constructive connents and enornous li-
brary lave always been tlere lor ne. You lave encouraged ne and lel¡ed
ne articulate wlat I wanted to say witl a never-ending entlusiasn and
¡atience. Your trust in ny abilities las tauglt ne acadenic inde¡endence
and integrity. Tle connents and reading lists lron ny assistant su¡ervi-
sor Jolan Lindquist lave always been to tle ¡oint and o¡ened u¡ new
¡ers¡ectives. I would ¡articularly like to tlank you lor understanding
wlat I lad not yet nanaged to ex¡ress, lor turning ny weaknesses into
strengtls, and lor your ability to see tle greater wlole wlen I was uncer-
At tle beginning ol ny doctoral studies I lad tle ¡rivilege ol attend-
ing a sunner sclool at tle Institut Européen d’Histoire et des Cultures de
l’Alimentation in Tours in Se¡tenber 2004. I would like to tlank Peter
8 the market hall revisited
Sclolliers and Allen Grieco, Peter Atkins, Marc Jacobs, Xavier Medina,
Ste¡len Mennell, Henry Notaker, Jean-Pierre Polain, Alessandro Stan-
ziani, and all tle doctoral students, in ¡articular Raclel Lden Black and
Svend Skalte Overgaard.
At various ¡oints, I lave received uselul connents on ny work. Tlank
you, Boel Berner lor your generous and constructive reading ol ny text
lor tle lall-tine seninar. I would like to tlank Cecilia Fredriksson, lor
ler insigltlul and ins¡iring critique at ny hnal seninar. My tlanks also
go to tle hnal seninar connittee Lrling Bjurstron, Brita Hernelin, and
Hans Sjogren, lor tle nany lel¡lul suggestions.
I would like to tlank all tle nenbers ol tle lood seninar wlicl was
ny hrst acadenic lone at Tena. Anita Andersson, Stina Backnan, Anna
Bryntor¡, Bengt-Lrik Lriksson, Lva Gullberg, Jolan Hedrén, Martin Hell-
stron, Roger Qvarsell, Ulrika Torell and Saral Vinterlycka. I would also
like to tlank all tle nenbers ol tle ¡ackaging seninar. It las been botl
ins¡iring and instructive. Tlanks to all tle lriends and colleagues ol tle
D-03 colort, I`n la¡¡y to lave lad tle clance ol getting to know you
and your work. Tlanks also to all tle nice new and old colleagues at tle
de¡artnents ol Tena and ISAK, you nake Linko¡ing university a great
¡lace to work.
Sone ¡eo¡le lave tle knack lor bringing out tle best in any acadenic
texts, Bodil Axelsson, Åsa Pettersson and Ulrika Torell. il only you knew
low nucl I an indebted to you lor being wlo you are. lull ol associa-
tions and ideas, well-read, and tleoretically so¡listicated, you ¡ossess
tlat wonderlul acadenic inaginativeness tlat discovers new en¡irical
naterials and knows low to ¡resent it. Veronica Brodén, Vasilis Galis,
and Pelle Gyberg tlank you. Not only are you lun and intelligent, you
also really know low to read texts and lave lel¡ed ne nore tlan I tlink
you know.
Over tle years I lave net nany extraordinary and ins¡iring ¡eo¡le.
Disa Berglnér, Clarlotte Billgren, Maria Bjorknan, Dana Cordell, He-
lene Lgeland, Stina Henze, Lricka Jolnson, Petra Jonvallen, Lina Larsson,
Kristina Lindloln, Carina Milde, Alna Persson, Janina Sclirner, Tina
Sclnid-Neset, Soha Seilartl, Karin Skill, Karin Tloresson, Ann Verner,
Hanna Vitrock, Cecilia Åsberg, I would love to see nore ol you all.
I`n gratelul lor all tle old and new lriends wlo are still tlere des¡ite
everytling. Daniel Bengtson, Guillerno Carbonari, Monica Du¡ont,
Annica Lwing, Åsa Fritzon, Nina Jakobson, Andras Larsson, Kristin
Ljungkvist, Anders Lowander, Mattias Lowlagen, Sara Norback, Micke
Norback, Gunilla Reisclel, Cilla Sclonning, Jenny Tidgren, Martina
Vallgren, Hanna Vallenstron, Kajsa Vestberg, Hans Villoln, tlank
you lor all your encouragenent, all tle ins¡iring discussions, and nost
acknowledgements 9
ol all lor your lriendsli¡. I look lorward to seeing you nore olten.
Tle lel¡lul stalls at Stockloln City Arclives, Stadsarkivet, and at tle
Stockloln City Museun, Stadsmuseum, lave nade going into tle arclives
a true ¡leasure. I an gratelul to tle vendors and custoners in tle narket
lalls lor letting ne slare tleir tine and knowledge, and lor ¡utting u¡
witl all ny questions. Tle stall at tle lorner Market Hall Adninistra-
tion deserves a s¡ecial nention. Tlank you lor taking your tine witl ne,
generously answering all questions, bringing out naterial lor ne, and
naking ne leel welcone. Kungl. Gustav Adolfs akademien and Stiftelsen Axel
Hirsch fond contributed to tle ¡rinting costs ol tlis book lor wlicl I an
gratelul. Su¡¡ort lron tle Kungl. Gustav Adolfs akademien also allowed ne
to go to a lood studies conlerence in Portland, Oregon in 2005 wlere I
¡resented early dralts (and ¡lotogra¡ls lron tle Stockloln City Mu-
seun) and got excellent connents and contacts. Tlank you.
Librarian Clristina Brage was always lel¡lul, always willing to hnd
books, in addition to being a warn and intelligent ¡erson. A tean ol
adninistrators lave taken care ol ne and nade sure all ¡ractical issues
were solved in tle snootlest nanner ¡ossible. Tlank you Lena Torn-
borg, Kerstin Sonesson, Clristina Larkner, Lva Danielsson, Ian Dickson,
Lva Jolansson and Cecilia Åkergren. Lva Jolansson and Cecilia Åkergren
deserve s¡ecial nention lor laving to co¡e witl ny absentnindedness
toward tle end ol ny ¡eriod as a doctoral student, witlout tleir lriend-
ly su¡¡ort I would lave been lost. Tlank you so nucl. Dennis Netzell,
tlank you lor tle great cover design and lor being tle nost ¡atient ¡roj-
ect nanager lor tle ¡rinting ol tlis book. Stelan Pessirilo las ¡erlorned
wonders in editing tlis text. Your sense ol style and talent lor ¡ointing
out inconsistencies is outstanding. Tlank you lor all your lel¡. Tlanks
also to Bodil Axelsson, Veronica Brodén, Åsa Fritzon, Nina Jakobson, and
Ann Verner reading tle ¡rools ol tle hnal version. You were diligent and
¡erce¡tive, as always.
I lave been blessed witl tle nost lantastic lanily and no words can
lully ex¡ress wlat I owe you. My ¡arents Cecilia and Ull Jonsson, you
¡layed witl Reuben, gave us excellent lood and took away tle strain ol
everyday lile. Tle sane goes lor ny ¡arents-in-law, Ingela and Mason Lee,
tlank you lor all your su¡¡ort! A s¡ecial tlanks to Ingela and Cecilia lor
all tle tines you ¡ut Reuben hrst and rescleduled all otler activities. But
tle love you lave always slown is tle nost in¡ortant ol all, it las given
ne conhdence and reassurance. Tlanks also to ny brotler David, and
Francis` brotlers Tlonas and Robin. I`n la¡¡y you are ny lanily.
My greatest tlanks go to ny lusband Francis and our son Reuben.
Francis, I could never lave written tlis book witlout you. You are one ol
chapter 1 10
tle nost versatile and talented ¡eo¡le I lave ever net and you lave gen-
erously slared your ideas and con¡any witl ne. You lave ¡atiently read
and reread tlis text, discussed various solutions and given ne brilliant
suggestions. Your work and your intellectual curiosity lave ins¡ired ne.
Reuben, being witl you las lel¡ed ne rediscover tle nagic in tlis world.
Francis and Reuben, I look lorward to our luture adventures.
Stockholm, November 2009
Purpose and research questions
Lvery consun¡tion s¡ace las its own logic. To enter a narket lall in
tle beginning ol tle twenty-hrst century entails ex¡ectations ol certain
con¡ortnents ratler tlan otlers. Vendors and consuners enact a lorn
ol narket lall sociability, a lorn ol socialization connected to a web ol
ex¡ectations and obligations. Vlat you are su¡¡osed to say and do in
a narket lall ¡ronotes a s¡ecihc sociality anong tle vendors and tle
consuners. Il consun¡tion s¡aces cater to certain sensibilities and tastes,
tlis is in no way unintended or arbitrary. Instead it is a story ol inclusion
and exclusion, a story about tle logic ol a s¡ecihc s¡atial setting witl its
social and cultural codes.
Il we are to understand low tle loodsca¡es ol today`s cities evolved,
tle ¡atls ol regulation and control taken by autlorities are ol central
However, we also need to look at low tle narket lor tle re-
tail and distribution ol tle cities` lood ¡rovisioning develo¡ed over tine,
to exanine tle s¡atial ex¡ressions ol tle nany lorns ol urban lood dis-
1. J. Burnett & D. J. Oddy (eds.), The origins and development of food policies in
Europe, Burnett, J., Plenty and want, Frencl, M. & Plilli¡s, J. Cheated not poi-
soned?, P. J. Atkins, P. Lunnel & D. J. Oddy (eds.), Food and the city in Europe
since 1800.
chapter 1 12
In otler words, we need to ex¡lore tle institutional arrange-
nents ol lood distribution in tle city.
Tlis is a study ol tle consun¡tion s¡aces engendered by tle narket
lall systen in Stockloln. More s¡ecihcally, it is a study ol low tle links
between ¡roduction, distribution, and consun¡tion ol lood lave been
organized in tine and s¡ace over tle ¡ast lundred and hlty years. On
one land, it is a story about lood distribution in Stockloln. On tle otl-
er land, it also ex¡lores low tle cultures ol consun¡tion lave evolved
in tlis context. Tle tine ¡eriod rouglly corres¡onds to tle long twenti-
etl century described by econonic listorian Giovanni Arrigli, wlicl will
serve as a backdro¡ to tlis study.
As lor tle s¡atial dinension, tlis story
takes tle narket lall as its local ¡oint.
Tle narket lall was closen be-
cause it ollers an instructive exan¡le ol tle slilting nores and listorical
trends regarding lood ¡roduction, distribution, and nanagenent, as well
as tle overall cultures ol consun¡tion.
Tle narket lall las been sla¡ed by its listory, and is sla¡ed by tle
¡resent social and cultural landsca¡e it is situated in. To ex¡lore tle lor-
nation ol tlis ¡articular s¡atial setting, tle narket lall, and trace low it
las clanged since tle 1870s u¡ to tle ¡resent, dillerent netlods and dil-
lerent naterials lave been de¡loyed. Tle hrst ¡art ol tle investigation lo-
cuses on tle ¡eriod lron1863-1933
, and is nainly based on arclival na-
terial. Tle consuner in tlis ¡art ol tle investigation renains an obscure
¡ersona, always illusive to dehne. In tlis ¡eriod, tle ¡redoninant view ol
tle autlorities was tlat tle consuner needed always to be instructed and
educated in order to be able to ¡ro¡erly navigate tle new consun¡tion
landsca¡es tlat were inagined and ¡lanned by an adninistrative a¡¡ara-
tus, tle Stockloln City Council.
2. Mayo, J. M., The American grocery store.
3. Arrigli, G., The long twentieth century.
4. Tle tern 'narket lall` in Swedisl is 'salulall`. Tlis does not readily trans-
late into Lnglisl. Sonetines tle terns '¡ublic narket`, 'covered narket` and
'lood lall` are used instead. I lave closen to use 'narket lall` owing to tle
seninal work on narket lalls in Great Britain, See Sclnieclen, J. A. & Carls,
K., The British market hall. Vlat a narket lall is and wlat counts as a narket
lall will be ex¡lored in tle course ol tle dissertation.
5. Tle year 1863 was closen because tlis is tle hrst year tle Stockloln City
Council re¡orts were ¡ublisled in ¡rinted lorn. During tle 1860s, tlere
were sone discussions about a narket lall systen lor Stockloln, but it was
not until 1873 tlat a narket lall was hrst constructed. Tle year 1933 was
closen because in tlis year tle hrst narket lall devoted entirely to wlolesale
was inaugurated. Tlis narks a clange in tle locus and sco¡e ol tle narket
lalls in Stockloln.
introduction 13
To study tle narket lall during tle second ¡art ol tle investigation,
, is a question ol studying wlat Axel calls tle sladows ol tle
Tle anbitious, all-encon¡assing narket lall ¡roject ol
tle hrst ¡eriod lad receded into near oblivion. Instead, a very dillerent
vision lad energed, wlere tle city olhcials were res¡onsible lor nanag-
ing tle wlolesale side ol tle city lood ¡rovisioning, but wlere tle retail
as¡ects were lelt to otler actors. To understand wly tle idea ol tle retail
narket lall dininisled in in¡ortance, it is instructive to look at wlat
turned out to be its re¡lacenent, a systen ol ¡rivate and coo¡erative re-
tail stores located all over Stockloln. Tle second ¡art is tlus based on
existing literature about tle retail revolution, tle sell-service stores, and
tle relornulation ol tle retail landsca¡e, ratler tlan just tle narket
lalls tlenselves.
A critical con¡onent ol tlis study is tle heldwork conducted in tle
tlree narket lalls in Stockloln lron Se¡tenber 2005 to August 2006.
Tle heldwork enables a lands-on study ol consun¡tion ¡ractices in tle
narket lalls ol tle early twenty-hrst century, tle way inclusion and ex-
clusion works, as well as low cultural ca¡ital is acquired and distinctions
nade. In addition, tle ¡eriod 1973 to 2005 was exanined witl tle lel¡ ol
arclival naterial and existing literature. Tle arclival naterial ¡rovided a
neans to situate tle heldwork in a social and cultural context.
Production, distribution and consun¡tion take ¡lace witlin listori-
cally, culturally, and socially situated lranes ol relerence. Tle constant
interaction between tle cultural inter¡retations and tle naterial lounda-
tions nakes it in¡ossible to distinguisl wlat are discursive ¡ractices and
wlat are naterial ¡redis¡ositions. Tle narket lall can be inter¡reted as
an econonic ¡lenonenon, a distribution lornat, but it is also enbed-
ded in a nental lranework inbued witl social and cultural values. Tle
¡eriodization de¡arts lron tle en¡irical naterial investigated, wlere tle
arclival sources guided tle initial na¡¡ing out. Tlat a story ol otler
lorns ol retail would lave generated a sonewlat dillerent ¡eriodiza-
tion, as would anotler geogra¡lical sco¡e, is lardly sur¡rising. It nerely
reßects tle lact tlat any ¡eriodization to sone extent is arbitrary, and
de¡ends on tle locus ol tle study at land. Here it is tle narket lalls in
6. Tle year 1973 is closen as it is connonly used to nark tle end ol tle
golden years ol ¡ost-war growtl, witl tle oil crisis looning. Ol course, it is
in¡ossible to ¡in¡oint any exact years lor tlis ¡eriodization. But it reßects
an overall narrative ol econonic growtl and ex¡ansion, wlicl inßuences tle
listorical develo¡nent ol tle narket lall. As nentioned belore, tlis narra-
tive draws on Arrigli.
7. Axel, B. K., °Introduction. Historical antlro¡ology and its vicissitudesº, In
B. K. Axel (ed.), From the margins, ¡. 21.
chapter 1 14
Stockloln tlat were tle local ¡oint. Still, tle develo¡nent ol tle narket
lall is largely in line witl tle overall Swedisl develo¡nent ol tle retail
Tle nain question in tlis study is low tle narket lall was recoded
over tle lundred hlty years investigated. Tle relevance ol tlis question
lies in wlat tlis can tell us about urban lood retail and tle associated
cultures ol consun¡tion. In tlis recoding ¡rocess, tlere is a novenent
lron ¡roduction, to distribution, and hnally to consun¡tion. Tle ¡arts
ol tle relationsli¡ between ¡roduction, distribution, and consun¡tion
tlat were tle nost relevant evolved as tine went on. In tle hrst ¡eriod
lron 1863 to 1933, tle locus was on tle ¡roduction as¡ects. In tle sec-
ond ¡eriod lron 1933 to 1973, distribution took tle loreground. In tle
tlird ¡eriod lron 1973 to 2006, consun¡tion and tle slo¡¡ing ex¡eri-
ence were ¡aranount.
Tle novenent lron ¡roduction to distribution and tlen consun¡-
tion is nirrored in a nunber ol conce¡ts, wlicl rea¡¡ear over tle entire
¡eriod investigated. Tle neaning ascribed to tlen, lowever, clanges
between tle hrst, second, and tlird ¡eriods. Tle conce¡ts are seen as
¡rocesses in tine. tle sane conce¡ts rea¡¡ear, but tleir neanings and
tleir uses slilt. Sone conce¡ts decline in in¡ortance, wlile sone gain,
but tle ¡rocess is nore ol a continuun, witl ¡arallel inter¡retations ol
tle conce¡ts living side by side, even alter tle neaning ol a conce¡t las
started to slilt. Tle over-arcling conce¡t is tlat ol Quality. How is qual-
ity ¡erceived and negotiated· Vlat values are ascribed to quality· To ex-
¡lore tle conce¡t ol quality, two con¡anion conce¡ts, Rationality and
Autlenticity, will be ex¡lored in relation to tle narket lall and tle retail
landsca¡e in wlicl it las evolved.
The origins of the Swedish market halls
Buildings ol tle basilica ty¡e, along witl all sorts ol lood sleds, ¡erna-
nent lood stalls, and hsl narkets, lave indeed been used lor tle sale ol
¡rovisions lor a long tine in urban areas. To ¡in¡oint tle exact date wlen
it is a¡¡ro¡riate to talk ol a narket lall in tle Swedisl context nay be
Instead tle locus will be on tle new context ol increased urban-
ization and industrialization wlicl altered tle scale ol tle ¡roblen ol ur-
ban lood su¡¡ly. Tlis is tle stand taken by Sclnieclen and Carls in tleir
groundbreaking work on tle Britisl narket lall. Tley clain tlat tle idea
8. Tle actual word °narket lallº, °salulallº in Swedisl was hrst noted in
1865, wlen it was used to describe international circunstances. See Ordbok
över svenska språket. S-Samordig, H. 254-258.
introduction 15
ol buying tle najority ol tleir lood ¡rovisioning in a narket lall was a
loreign idea to nost urban dwellers in Britain in tle 1830s. Filty years
later tlis becane connon¡lace.
Tle industrial and urban develo¡nent
in Sweden was nucl slower in con¡arison, wlicl ex¡lains wly tle boon
in narket lall construction occurred nucl later. However, nany ol tle
lundanental leatures ol tle Britisl listory also lold true in tle Swedisl
scenario, even il tlere are in¡ortant dillerences as well.
Between tle 1870s and tle 1950s, narket lalls were built in over tlir-
ty towns in Sweden. Tlis tine ¡eriod also corres¡onds to a groundbreak-
ing ¡eriod in Swedisl society, during wlicl it was translorned lron a
¡oor agrarian country to a successlul industrial nation. Tle transition
was ra¡id. As an exan¡le, it is wortl nentioning tlat Sweden lad a ¡ro-
duction growtl ol 3,3 ¡ercent lron 1890 to 1910 and tle GDP increased
dranatically during tle sane ¡eriod. Snall networks ol business ¡eo-
¡le took advantage ol tlis growtl, as well as tle relative stability and
¡redictability ol tle business clinate, to ex¡and business and trade in

Tle s¡ectacular econonic and industrial ex¡ansion was nirrored in
a sinilar ex¡ansion ol tle Swedisl narket lalls. Tle geogra¡lical dil-
lusion ol tle narket lalls generally lollowed tle ¡atterns ol industrial
and connercial develo¡nent in Sweden. Ve see tlat narket lalls were
constructed in nucl tle sane areas tlat ex¡erienced tle nost intensive
growtl and}or were tle nost densely ¡o¡ulated. In tlese areas, we also
hnd trans¡ortation inlrastructure in tle lorns ol waterways and ¡orts,
railways, and roads. Tlere is a direct correlation between tle ex¡ansion
ol narket lalls and tle ¡ronotion by active agricultural societies ol new
¡ractices nore ada¡ted to nodern lood ¡roduction and consun¡tion
¡atterns. Il we look at tle location ol tle narket lalls at tle town level,
we hnd tlat tley were lrequently constructed in tle center ol tle town,
next to tle traditional o¡en air narkets, witl tle intent ol con¡letely
re¡lacing tle o¡en air narkets.

Tle nain ¡roblen lor nunici¡alities and towns in Sweden was to
solve tle clallenges ol lood distribution in a satislactory nanner. Tle
old o¡en air narkets were seen as ¡roblenatic, and tle narket lall was
regarded as tle solution to tlis conundrun. Tle issue was subject to
long debates, and connittees were also a¡¡ointed in towns tlat eventu-
9. Sclnieclen, J. A. & Carls, K., The British market hall, ¡. ix.
10. Gerentz, S. & Ottosson, J., Handel och köpmän i Stockholm under ett sekel, ¡.
11. Lee, J., °Vays ol organizing urban lood. narket lalls in Swedisl townsº.
chapter 1 16
ally never did o¡t lor eitler ¡ublic or ¡rivate lalls. Tle ¡ositive regard lor
narket lalls continued into tle 1920s.
In 1927, tle hrst signs ol a reversal ol tle ¡ositive view ol tle narket
lallreceived attention in tle Journal ol Swedisl Towns and Munici¡ali-
ties (Svenska stadsförbundets tidskrift. Organ för Sveriges städer, köpingar & mu-
nicipalsamhällen). U¡ until tlen, tle journal lad re¡orted ratler uncriti-
cally ol tle ¡rogressive narket lall ¡rojects around Sweden. A cou¡le ol
years later, tle journal re¡orted tlat ¡ublic res¡onsibility and action were
unnecessary, and, il lelt to itsell, ¡rivate enter¡rise would solve tle issue.
Tle journal also ¡ointed to tle lact tlat tle occu¡ancy rate in narket
lalls always declined alter a wlile, wlen ¡rivate and coo¡erative stores
drove tle narket lalls out ol business. Modern stores were clearly su¡e-
rior to tle outnoded narket lalls, tle journal concluded. By 1957, tle
narket lall was declared unlygienic and ill-suited to tle denands ol tle
nodern consuner, wlo lad becone accustoned to decentralized distri-
bution lornats sucl as tle ¡ervasive sell-service, all-¡ur¡ose stores now
establisled alnost everywlere.

During wlat is lere dehned as tle ¡eriod ol decline lor tle narket
lall, lron 1933 to 1973, narket lalls were still constructed in hve new
towns. Five towns decided to build a second narket lall, and Stockloln
re¡laced tle old Hotorget narket lall witl a brand new one. In con¡ari-
son, a¡¡roxinately hlty narket lalls lad been built during tle ¡revious
¡eriod ol 1863 to 1933. By 1933, tle neaning ol tle narket lall lad
clanged, lowever. Tle existing narket lalls were rundown and in need
ol re¡air. In lact, narket lalls were already being slut down as early as in
1914, wlen one snaller narket lall was closed down in Stockloln. Fron
tlis tine, a lew narket lalls were closed every decade, but new ones were
being built in greater nunbers. Tle worst decade lor tle narket lalls
was tle 1960s, wlen tle najority ol all tle narket lalls disa¡¡eared in
tle wake ol tle urban renewal ol tle town centers. Tle develo¡nent in
Stockloln was sonewlat dillerent lron tle rest ol tle country. In tle
ca¡ital, tle retail narket lalls lost ground at around tle sane tine as tle
locus slilted towards wlolesale narkets.
A nunber ol narket lalls lave been o¡ened in various ¡laces in Swe-
den lron tle 1970s, and tlere are continuous discussions on o¡ening
new narket lalls in dillerent towns, generally as ¡art ol an urban renewal
¡roject. In addition, tle etiquette °narket lallº is used in a wider sense,
12. Svenska stadsförbundets tidskrift: organ för Sveriges städer, köpingar och muni-
cipalsamhällen, Svenska stadslorbundet, Stockloln, 1909-1967. See in ¡ar-
ticular tle years 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1917, 1923, 1925, 1926, 1927,
1930, 1931, 1932, 1947, 1948, and 1957.
introduction 17
to inler added value to a su¡ernarket. Tlis is tle case witl tle de¡art-
nent store NK in Stockloln, wlere tle ICA su¡ernarket is in lact called
tle NK narket lall in advertisenent can¡aigns. Anotler exan¡le is tle
de¡artnent store Ålléns City, wlere tle Henko¡ store is also relerred to
as a °narket lallº.
Why Stockholm?
Stockloln in nany res¡ects stands out in tle Swedisl context, and tlere
are a nunber ol lactors tlat contribute to naking it a ¡articularly edi-
lying case. First ol all, Stockloln was, and continues to be, tle biggest
city in Sweden, wlicl neans tlat it was nost ex¡osed to tle ¡roblens
ol adequate ¡rovisioning. Tle ¡o¡ulation growtl in Stockloln was in-
¡ortant already at tle beginning ol tle ¡eriod studied. In 1890, only 5.3
¡ercent ol tle total ¡o¡ulation lived in tle ca¡ital. By 1910, tlis lad risen
to 7.4 ¡ercent ol tle total ¡o¡ulation in Sweden. Il tle surrounding lin-
terlands are included, as nucl as 20 ¡ercent ol tle Swedisl ¡o¡ulation
was living in tle Stockloln region by tlis tine.

Secondly, Stockloln is also tle ca¡ital. Tlis usually neans tlat a city
retains nost ol tle adninistrative lunctions in a country. In tle case ol
Stockloln, tle city las listorically been ¡rone to growtl and ex¡ansion,
and trade was one ol tle nost in¡ortant as¡ects belind tle sensational
ex¡ansion around tle turn ol tle century 1900. Tle ex¡ansion ol trade
and industry in tle late nineteentl century lead to an in¡roved inlra-
structure not only in tle ca¡ital, but also across tle country. However, tle
ca¡ital was a lorerunner in tle held ol trade, wlicl nakes it an interest-
ing case wlen considering tle develo¡nent ol tle lood retail systen.

Tlirdly, tlere was a wides¡read debate anong tle conten¡orary de-
cision nakers in nineteentl century Stockloln over low tle city was
not kee¡ing u¡ witl tle nodern civilized world it so wanted to be ¡art
ol. Tlere was an in¡ortation ol ideas lron otler Luro¡ean cities to tle
Stockloln context. Tle in¡ulses and inßuences lron tle international
exan¡les can be lound in nany docunents, lron accounts ol study tours
undertaken by dillerent olhcials, to inßuences in arclitecture, and even
nore so in tle regulations and tle actual ¡lysical and legal structure ol
tle urban lood su¡¡ly. Regulations energed lron a conbination ol ¡ub-
lic and ¡rivate interests. It is in tlese alliances tlat we can trace tle roots
ol tle subsequent structure ol tle Swedisl lood industry, witl its ra¡id
13. Gerentz, S & Ottosson, J., Handel och köpmän i Stockholm, ¡. 23.
14. Gerentz, S & Ottosson, J., Handel och köpmän i Stockholm, ¡. 20-23.
chapter 1 18
nodernization and unilorn rationalizations wlicl allected tle ¡roduc-
tion, distribution, and sales conditions.

Tle ra¡id nodernization ¡rocess ol Sweden las been observed by
several sclolars, anong tlen Alan Pred, wlo in lis Recognizing European
Modernities calls it °an extrene caseº ol nodernity.
Tlis ¡articularity ol
tle Swedisl exan¡le nay in ¡art ex¡lain sone ol tle develo¡nents in
Sweden, sucl as tle ra¡id transition to sell-service, witl its standardized
lood su¡¡ly neatly ¡resented in standardized ¡ackages. Like a well-oiled
nodernity nacline, Sweden and its ca¡ital soared into tle luture.
Stockloln in tle beginning ol tle twenty-hrst century is still trying
to kee¡ u¡ witl international trends, and as¡ires to being ¡art ol tle in-
ternational network ol laslionable cities. Stockloln also losts a nun-
ber ol renowned restaurants. Tle culinary conhdence ol tle Stockloln
¡ublic nay reasonably be ex¡ected to lave risen, witl a concentration ol
gastrononic snobs, or loodies, living in tle ca¡ital.
15. Morell, M., °Det konnersiella jordbruketº, in J. Myrdal (ed.), Det svenska
jordbrukets historia. Bd 4, Jordbruket i industrisamhället: 1870-1945, Morell, M.,
°Jordbruket ocl industrionvandlingenº, In Då förändras Sverige, ¡. 31-48.
16. Pred, A., Recognizing European modernities, ¡. 12-13, 22.
Theoretical perspectives
In order to ca¡ture tle s¡atial dinension ol lood distribution and tle
cultures ol consun¡tion linked to it in tle exan¡le ol tle narket lall,
tlis study draws u¡on a broad held ol wlat can be dehned as culture
studies. Tle nature ol tle researcl questions and tle en¡irical naterial
lave been guiding tle tleoretical journey tlat will be ¡resented below.
Various a¡¡roacles to lood ¡rovisioning in cities, consun¡tion, and tle
city will be discussed belore we turn to tle tleoretical loundations lor tle
conce¡ts ol quality, rationality, and autlenticity.
Food provisioning in cities
Ve can a¡¡roacl lood ¡rovisioning in cities in a nunber ol ways. Several
studies on tle ¡rovisioning ol cities lave locused on tle ¡re-industrial
¡eriod ol lood.
As regards tle ¡eriod alter tle industrial revolution, no-
tably tle Lnglisl Victorian era las received a lot ol attention.
More re-
cent researcl on lood and cities las been ins¡ired by a nounting critique
ol tle current lood systen
or las centered on cities outside tle Vestern
1. Ka¡lan, S. L., Provisioning Paris, Albala, K., Food in early modern Europe, 1500-
2. Burnett, J., Plenty and want, Frencl, M. & Plilli¡s, J., Cheated not poisoned?
3. McMiclael, P., °Tle ¡ower ol loodº, Agriculture & Human Values, 17, 2000,
¡. 21-33, F. Magdoll, J. Bellany Foster & F. H. Buttel (eds.), Hungry for profit;
Goodnan, D. & Redclilt, M., °Modernisation and tle international lood
chapter 2 20
Tle work ol tle International Connission lor Researcl into
Luro¡ean Food History (ICRLFH) las resulted in a nunber ol in¡ortant
¡ublications discussing issues related to tle ¡rovisioning ol cities, wlicl
lave inlorned tle way tlis study views tle listory ol narket lalls.
sioning las also a sensory dinension. In a recent study, urban listorians
investigate tle visual and tle tactile, as well as tle sound and snell, ol
cities in Luro¡e lron tle Middle Ages to nodern tines,
wlicl resonates
witl tle narket lall listory.
In looking at tle listory ol retail and urban lood su¡¡ly in otler
Vestern countries, tle background ol tle Swedisl ¡attern ol develo¡-
nent becones clearer. Tle develo¡nent in Luro¡e and Nortl Anerica
was not lonogenous ol course, but in general we nay note tlat tle ¡io-
neer ol tle industrial revolution, Great Britain, not sur¡risingly took tle
lead also in res¡ect to tle evolution ol tle retail systens. Anglo-Saxon
researcl slows tlat tlere was a systen ol slo¡s in Great Britain, Nortl
Anerica, and Gernany by tle nid-nineteentl century.

Tle evolution ol tle retail landsca¡es las been lruitlully investi-
gated de¡arting lron an arclitectural ¡oint ol view
witl a nunber ol
sclolars locusing s¡ecihcally on ¡ublic narkets and narket lalls. Janes
Sclnieclen and Kennetl Carls` na¡¡ing ol tle rise and lall ol tle Britisl
narket lall
is ¡erla¡s tle nost signihcant. Janes Mayo`s early investiga-
tion ol tle develo¡nent ol tle Anerican grocery store las a section on
¡ublic narkets,
as does Katlryn Morrison`s study ol tle arclitectural
systen. re-articulation or resistance·º, In C. Sarasúa, P. Sclolliers & L. Van
Molle (eds.), Land, shops and kitchens, Roberts, P. The end of food, Patel, R., Stuffed
and starved.
4. Flynn, K. C., Food, culture, and survival in an African city.
5. See es¡ecially J. Burnett & D. J. Oddy (eds.), The Origins and Development of
Food Policies in Europe, M. Hietala & T. Valtikari, (eds.), The Landscape of Food;
and P. J. Atkins, P. Lunnel & D. J. Oddy (eds.), Food and the City in Europe since
6. A. Cowan & J. Steward (eds.), The city and the senses: urban culture since 1500.
7. Alexander, D., Retailing in England during the Industrial Revolution, Denecke,
D. & Slaw, G., °Traditional retail systens in Gernanyº, & Plili¡s, M., °Tle
evolution ol narkets and slo¡s in Britainº, In J. Benson & G. Slaw (eds.), The
evolution of retail systems, c. 1800-1914, Mayo, J. M., The American grocery store, C.
Sarasúa, P. Sclolliers & L. Van Molle (eds.), Land, shops and kitchens.
8. Longstretl, R. V., City center to regional mall, Longstretl, R. V., The drive-in,
the supermarket, and the transformation of commercial space in Los Angeles, 1914-
9. Sclnieclen, J. A. & Carls, K., The British market hall.
10. Mayo, J. M., The American grocery store.
theoretical perspectives 21
develo¡nent ol Britisl slo¡s.
Helen Tangires` study ol civic culture in
tle ¡ublic narket,
and ler nore recent study ol tle evolution ol tle
¡ublic narkets in tle US
are anong tle nost tlorougl exaninations.
Victoria Tlon¡son`s descri¡tion ol tle Parisian narket lalls takes a less
arclitectural a¡¡roacl.
Tlorsten Knoll`s dissertation on narket lalls
in France, Lngland and Gernany
is an interesting con¡arative study
devoted entirely to narket lalls. An article by Andrew Lolneier, °Bürger-
licle Gesellsclalt and Consuner Interests. Tle Berlin Public Market Hall
Relorn, 1867-1891º, also lolds signihcance lor tlis dissertation, due to
tle in¡act ol tle Britisl, Frencl, and Gernan conten¡orary debates on
tle Swedisl debate.
Tle article locuses on low teclnology and urban
¡lanning were used in order to aclieve certain goals ol translorning tle
city ol Berlin into a well-lunctioning world-class city. Tle anbitions ol
establisling a well-lunctioning city wlere ¡ublic order was naintained
were slared by nost city olhcials. Tle Stockloln City Council was anx-
iously observing tle develo¡nents in otler countries. Tlis article tlus
¡rovides a lrane ol relerence lor tle international con¡arisons.
Tle retail trade in Sweden evolved ra¡idly once tle urbanization ¡ro-
cess lad s¡eeded u¡, as denonstrated by Peder Aléx in lis dissertation
on tle coo¡erative novenent.
Hans Kjellberg
and Anna Nyberg
also slown tlis in tleir res¡ective dissertations on tle develo¡nent ol
tle association ol ¡rivate retailers, tle ICA-novenent, as did Hugo Kyle-
work on tle develo¡nent ol distribution in Sweden. Anotler ex-
an¡le ol tle researcl on tle distribution ol lood is Tonas Svensson`s
study ol structural clanges in tle wlolesaling and retailing ol lood and
groceries in Swedisl towns and cities.
Tle locus ol Svensson`s study is
¡rinarily on tle teclnological and econonical as¡ects ol distribution in
relation to city ¡lanning alter tle Second Vorld Var, and it tlus ¡ro-
vides insiglts lor tlis dissertation about tle evolution ol tle general re-
11. Morrison, K., English shops and shopping: an architectural history
12. Tangires, H, Public Markets and Civic Culture in Nineteenth-Century America.
13. Tangires, H. Public Markets.
14. Tlon¡son, V. L., The virtuous marketplace.
15. Knoll, T., Markthallen in Frankreich, England und Deutschland.
16. Lolneier, A., ºBürgerlicle Gesellsclalt and Consuner Interests. Tle Ber-
lin Public Market Hall Relorn, 1867-1891°, Business History Review, 73, no.
S¡ring (1999). 91-113.
17. Aléx, P. Den rationella konsumenten.
18. Kjellberg, H., Organising distribution.
19. Nyberg, A., Innovation in the distribution channels.
20. Kyleback, H., Varuhandeln i Sverige under 1900-talet.
21. Svensson, T., Dagligvarudistributionens strukturomvandling.
chapter 2 22
tail landsca¡e during tle ¡eriod ol narket lall decline. Lva Osssiansson`s
study ol tle retail narkets in Sweden in tle 1990s also las relevance,
¡rinarily lor ny understanding ol tle general retail landsca¡e in wlicl
tle narket lall is situated.

Tle develo¡nents lron tle late nineteentl century lave also re-
ceived attention in tle Swedisl acadenic context. Tle econonic listo-
rians Sven Gerentz & Jan Ottosson
and Ull Ranne
lave na¡¡ed out
tle ex¡ansion ol tle retail systen in Stockloln, and low tle nunber
ol inde¡endent stores, and later on coo¡erative stores and clain stores,
eventually altered tle way ¡eo¡le did tleir lood slo¡¡ing. Tlis gradual
develo¡nent las also been traced by tle urban listorian Bosse Bergnan,
wlo locuses on cities all over Sweden.
Going to tle o¡en air narket and
tle narket lall lad been tle nost evident source ol ¡rovisioning. By tle
1930s, tle snall stores on every block lad re¡laced tle central narkets.
To a great extent, tlis develo¡nent lollows tle sane ¡attern as tle devel-
o¡nent in tle US, tle UK, and Gernany.

Tle etlnologist Lars Kaijser las written about anotler as¡ect ol
tle clanging retail trade. tle situation ol tle country slo¡kee¡ers.

Altlougl lis study concerns tle rural context, it still las very interest-
ing ¡oints lor tle study ol tle narket lall, as well as ol distribution in
general. Mucl like tle narket lall, tle country slo¡ is ¡ortrayed as an
anonaly in tle nodern, conventional lood systen. Tle country slo¡,
wlicl ßourisled lron tle nid-nineteentl century, las lad to re-invent
itsell and hnd new ways ol doing business. Tle sociologist Llin Kvist las
studied tle antitlesis ol tle narket lall, tle nodern su¡ernarket. Her
locus is ¡rinarily on low everyday work in tle su¡ernarket is allected
by tle new labor narket`s working conditions, leading to botl nore au-
tonony witl nore interesting work tasks, and to increased work density
due to longer o¡ening lours, and ligler stall turnover.
Still, ler study
contributes to elucidate tle general consun¡tion landsca¡e and wly tle
su¡ernarket arises as tle antitlesis ol tle narket lall.
22. Ossiansson, L., Nätverk i förändring.
23. Gerentz, S. & Ottosson, J., Handel och köpmän i Stockholm under ett sekel.
24. Ranne, U., För det almännas bästa.
25. Bergnan, B., Handelsplats, shopping, stadsliv.
26. See Mayo, J. M., The American grocery store, Sclnieclen, J. & Carls, K., The
British market hall, J. Benson & G. Slaw (eds.), The evolution of retail systems, Gay,
P. du, °Sell-service. Retail, Slo¡¡ing and Personloodº, Consumption, Markets
& Culture, 7.2, 2004, ¡. 149-163.
27. Kaijser, L., Lanthandlare.
28. Kvist, L., Stormarknadens nya maktordningar.
theoretical perspectives 23
In tle Swedisl acadenic context, narket lalls lave only been dis-
cussed in ¡assing,
and tle studies undertaken on narket lalls in Swe-
den lave nainly taken tle lorn ol ¡o¡ular listory.
Also, tle study ol
o¡en air narkets and lood is lairly neager. A study by listorian Clris-
tine Bladl investigates tle conditions ol lenale lawkers, wlo sold lood,
anong otler tlings, and tlus contributed to tle urban lood landsca¡e.
Bladl`s study also nentions tle o¡en air narkets.
An early exan¡le ol
tle study ol o¡en air narkets is tle Swedisl cultural geogra¡ler Clris-
tina Nordin`s study lron 1977 on tle ¡eriodic narket trade in tle Paris
In 2009, Nordin ¡ublisled anotler study on tle nature ol tle
Stockloln lood narkets lron tle niddle ages to 1918. Tlis study las a
locus on tle o¡en air narkets, but also ¡resents a survey ol tle ¡rivate
and ¡ublic narket lalls in Stockloln.
Anotler study lron France, Les
vendredis de Carpentras by Miclèle de La Pradelle, also investigates tle na-
ture ol o¡en air narkets and las ¡rovided in¡ortant insiglts into tle
s¡ecihcity ol tle cultures ol consun¡tion in tle o¡en air narkets, wlicl
also las signihcance lor tle understanding ol tle cultures ol consun¡-
tion in tle conten¡orary narket lalls.
A lairly recent interesting con-
¡arative study by Raclel Lden Black on o¡en air narkets in France and
Italy cones closest to tle a¡¡roacl ol tlis dissertation. Going to market:
Places of sociability in Turin and Lyon.
Tlese lorn tle backdro¡ or lrane ol
relerence against wlicl ny study ol tle Stockloln narket lalls is con-
Tle origins ol tle Swedisl narket lalls lave been discussed in tlis dis-
sertation, as lave various ¡ossible a¡¡roacles to lood ¡rovisioning in cit-
ies. Now we need to go into nore detail over wlat strands in tle researcl
on consun¡tion lrane tle tleoretical ¡ers¡ectives ol tlis dissertation.
Tle narket lall is interesting botl as an idea, an inagined ¡lace, and as
a ¡lenonenon, a naterial ¡lace. Ideas about narkets and en¡irical nar-
kets in tlenselves are ¡art ol wlat nay be called a narket ¡ractice. Ac-
tors, ideas, rules, and belaviors interact in a ¡ractice, wlicl sla¡es and is
29. Hirdnan, Y., Magfrågan.
30. Tilstan, R., Med Stockholms stads saluhallsstyrelse 1907-1997, Atternan, I., Sa-
luhallen. den nya hygieniska handelsmiljön.
31. Bladl, C., Månglerskor.
32. Nordin, C., Le marché forain.
33. Nordin, C., Oordning.
34. La Pradelle, M. de, Les vendredis de Carpentras.
35. Black, R. L., Going to market. Places of sociability in Turin and Lyon.
chapter 2 24
sla¡ed by tle ideas ol tle ¡lenonenon, tle narket itsell.
Vlat ¡owers,
riglts, and obligations do we ascribe to dillerent actors in a narket· To
understand tlis, we need to use a conbination ol tleories on consun¡-
tion and tleories ol tle urban ex¡erience.
Ve are all nenbers ol urban consuner culture, and in reality
tlere is a diverse nix ol social grou¡s tlat ¡lysically and syn-
bolically occu¡y, ¡roduce neaning and create belonging in tle
s¡aces and ¡laces tlat constitute tle connodihed city.
Tlis connodihed city tlat Mark Jayne s¡eaks ol las gradually evolved,
even il tle in¡act ol connodihcation las been greater in tle latter lall
ol tle twentietl century. Let us hrst turn to exanine tle tleories ol con-
sun¡tion tlat will allow us to a¡¡reciate tle translornations ol tle long
twentietl century tlat is tle ten¡oral lranework ol tlis dissertation.
Tle acadenic interest in consun¡tion las been very ¡rolihc lor de-
cades. Tlere is now a wide variety ol readers and antlologies
as well as a
nunber ol in¡ortant acadenic works on consun¡tion,
dis¡laying vari-
ous alhliations and disci¡linary backgrounds. In tle Swedisl context, tle
nunber ol antlologies
and individual sclolarly work on consun¡tion
in its various lorns las also increased.
Tle study ol consun¡tion las
drawn on a nunber ol dillerent disci¡lines. econonics, listory, geogra-
¡ly, antlro¡ology, sociology, and ¡syclology, to nention only tle nost
lrequent disci¡lines. It is relerred to as °consuner cultureº, °consuner
societyº, °cultures ol consun¡tionº. Vlen tle anbition is to dehne an
36. Helgesson, C-F., Kjellberg, H. & Liljenberg, A., ºMarknader son ¡raktik
utbyten, norner ocl bilderº, In C-F. Helgesson, H. Kjellberg & A. Liljenberg
(eds.), Den där marknaden, ¡. 32-34.
37. Jayne, M., Cities and consumption, ¡. 7.
38. D. Miller (ed.), Acknowledging consumption, M. J. Lee (ed.), The Consumer Soci-
ety Reader, D. B. Clarke, M. A. Doel & K. M. L. Housinaux (eds.), The Consump-
tion Reader, F. Trentnann (ed.), The making of the consumer: knowledge, power and
identity in the modern world.
39. Miller, D., Material culture and mass consumption, Lury, C., Consumer culture;
Slater, D., Consumer culture and modernity, Fine, B., The world of consumption;
Clarke, D. B., The consumer society and the post-modern city.
40. Tlree excellent exan¡les are K. M. Lkstron & H. Brenbeck (eds.), Elu-
sive Consumption, P. Aléx & J. Soderberg (eds.), Förbjudna njutningar: spår från
konsumtionskulturens historia i Sverige and J. Soderberg & L. Magnusson (eds.),
Kultur och konsumtion i Norden 1750-1950.
41. Gustavsson, M., Makt och konstsmak, Fredriksson, C., Ett paradis för alla;
Husz, O., Drömmars värde, Metzger, J., I köttbullslandet, Snas, L., Transaction
spaces, to nention but a lew.
theoretical perspectives 25
acadenic held, it is relerred to as °consuner studiesº, °consun¡tion
studiesº or °tle study ol consun¡tionº. Tlis dissertation ¡ositions itsell
witlin tlis leterogeneous tradition. Tle locus lere is on tle cultures ol
consun¡tion and its naterial ex¡ressions. How do connodities obtain
a value· Consun¡tion can tlus be dehned as °con¡rising a set ol ¡rac-
tices wlicl ¡ernit ¡eo¡le to ex¡ress sell identity, to nark attaclnent to
social grou¡s, to accunulate resources, to exlibit social distinctions, and
to ensure ¡artici¡ation in social activities.º

In lis classic introduction to The Social Life of Things, Arjun A¡¡adu-
rai exanines tle dynanic ¡rocesses ol consun¡tion and ¡roduction ol
objects, and tleir social neanings.
Tlis article stands out as tle ¡oint
ol relerence lor nost naterial culture and consuner culture studies. In
tlis dissertation, it will serve as a screen tlrougl wlicl natters ol taste
and its naterial ex¡ressions in tle lorn ol dehnitions ol quality will be
analyzed. Taste and consun¡tion lave been tle objects ol study lor so-
ciologists and antlro¡ologists in a nunber ol works.
An evident ¡oint
ol relerence wlen it cones to natters ol taste and consun¡tion is Pierre
Bourdieu`s Distinction. Bourdieu`s account ol tle ¡roduction ol taste ains
at ex¡laining low social relations are sla¡ed by and also sla¡e tle nean-
ing ol objects.
In relation to tle narket lall and wlo goes slo¡¡ing
tlere, it can be said to be a natter ol taste, an acquired sense ol wlat
cloices seen neaninglul, wlat tastes seen natural, wlat labits seen
sell-evident, or in otler words, wlat lorns ol ca¡ital we lave access to.
Tlis is lorned by wlat social s¡ace we inlabit, and tlus low we ¡erceive
and ¡erlorn quality.
Consun¡tion is about values as nucl as it is about connodities.
Vlen it hrst a¡¡eared, tle narket lall was one ex¡ression ol, and one
answer to, tle new conditions lor consun¡tion. Its subsequent listory is
also tle listory ol low new conditions lor consun¡tion altered tle ¡re-
requisites lor wlat lorns ol distribution were best ada¡ted to tle current
landsca¡es ol consun¡tion. Food slo¡¡ing is a connon¡lace and nun-
dane activity, but it takes ¡lace witlin a con¡lex lranework ol social,
econonic, and cultural contexts. Tlis tells us sonetling about low tle
42. Varde, A., Consumption, food, and taste, ¡. 304.
43. A¡¡adurai, A., °Introduction. connodities and tle ¡olitics ol valueº, In
A. A¡¡adurai (ed.), The social life of things: commodities in cultural perspective.
44. Douglas, M. & Islerwood, B., The world of goods, Goody, J., Cooking, cuisine
and class, Mennell, S., Murcott, A. & van Otterloo, A. H., The sociology of food;
Beardswortl A. & Keil, T., Sociology on the menu, Bell, D. & Valentine, G., Con-
suming geographies, Varde, A., Consumption, food, and taste.
45. Bourdieu, P., Distinction.
chapter 2 26
city is organized, low nunici¡al control is carried out, as well as low lile-
styles and cultures ol consun¡tion energe and are nade neaninglul.
Food slo¡¡ing in tle late nineteentl century in tle new narket
lalls took on a dillerent claracter. Tle glittering liglts, tle brass rails
and hxtures, tle dark wooden httings, tle water tanks, and glass dis¡lay
counters are exan¡les ol low lood slo¡¡ing was enbracing luxury and
nodernity. Food slo¡¡ing in tle nid-twentietl century ¡ortrayed tle
run-down narket lalls as outdated. Instead, new retail s¡aces lad be-
cone tle e¡itone ol nodernity. Tle nundane as¡ects were soltened
by novelty and tle increased convenience. Food slo¡¡ing in tle narket
lalls in tle twenty-hrst century las again becone sonetling else, as wlat
was once tle ex¡ression ol utnost nodernity is reinter¡reted as tle nost
traditional and autlentic, a clarning rennant lron tle ¡ast.
Tle inage ol tle narket lall today is largely tied to questions ol con-
sun¡tion ¡ractices. Is it ¡ossible to discern clanges in our ¡atterns ol
consun¡tion or new trends by looking at narket lalls· Tle renaissance
ol tle narket lall can be seen as ¡art ol an increased interest in lood and
gastronony, wlicl is also evident in tle growing narket lor cook books,
as well as tle increasing nunber ol cooks losting tleir own television
slows, gastrononic societies, and lood blogs. Food snobbisn and being
a °loodieº lave been laslionable lor sone tine now.
Tlis gastrononic
turn las boosted tle narket lor snall-scale artisanal lood ¡roduction,
as well as lor lilestyle loodstulls. In ¡articular, tle alßuent urban niddle
classes use ligl quality and luxury loods as narkers ol tleir social alhlia-
tion. Tle narket lall is also enblenatic ol a sense ol local anclorage, ol a
rural, nore °naturalº and autlentic ¡ast a sinulacrun ol connunity.

One exan¡le ol tlis can be lound on tle website ol Soderlallarna narket
lall, wlere tle construction ol tle new narket lall was justihed in tle
lollowing laslion.
Tle objective was to create a traditional narket lall witl a ligl
ceiling and slo¡s tlat togetler could oller a wide variety ol
goods and services. A narket lall isn`t just a ¡lace to slo¡, it`s a
¡lace to hnd ins¡iration, neet lriends and enjoy good lood.
46. Bell, D. & Valentine, G., Consuming geographies, Varde, A., Consumption,
food, and taste, ¡. 184-186.
47. Bell, D. & Valentine, G., Consuming geographies, La Pradelle, M. de, Les ven-
dredis de Carpentras, Marsden, T., Flynn, A. & Harrison, M., Consuming interests:
the social provision of foods, Varde, A., Consumption, food, and taste, ¡. 183-186.
48. Citation lron ‡ Salulallslorvaltningen, Tle Stock-
loln Market Hall Adninistration, Soderlallarna, In Lnglisl Accessed Feb-
ruary 24, 2004.
theoretical perspectives 27
Tle ¡ers¡ective ¡resented above is related to tle researcl on consun¡-
tion, wlicl sees it as a ¡roduction ol identities, neaning, ex¡eriences,
and relationsli¡s.
Tle consuner is lere seen as an actor witl ¡relerenc-
es and ¡ower ol agency, living in a ¡ost-Fordist world wlere tle ¡roducer
las to ada¡t to tle hckle consuner. It also recognizes tlat consuners are
rarely °rationalº in tle strict econonic sense ol tle word, but ratler tlat
consun¡tion is as nucl social and cultural as it is driven by econonic
Consun¡tion is seen in tlis dissertation as being gov-
erned by notives tlat are botl social and naterial - tle consuner articu-
lating individuality witlin collective lraneworks ol relerence, wlicl nay
be understood in terns ol social worlds.

However, tlat tle consuner as a category las received sucl iconic sta-
tus is a lairly recent ¡lenonenon,
wlicl is clearly evident wlen we look
at tle cultures ol consun¡tion linked to tle narket lalls. In tle researcl
on consun¡tion, tle degree ol agency attributed to consuners varies.
Sonetines, tle consuners are lound to lave lairly linited o¡¡ortuni-
ties ol cloosing lilestyle and consun¡tion ¡attern lollowing Bourdieu
and tle labitus conce¡t, wlere all consun¡tion reveals class ¡osition to
sone extent. Consuners are lound to adlere to tle nore o¡en and ten-
¡orary notions ol lilestyle and identity in Miclel Mallesoli`s neo-tribes,
wlere individuals are joined lor linited ¡eriods ol tine by connon etli-
cal, ¡olitical or otler identity related stand¡oints. A sinilar view is lound
in tle descri¡tions ol new social novenents by Alberto Melucci.

In tlis study, I an ins¡ired by tle insiglts ol Bourdieu, wlicl las
¡artly inlorned ny inter¡retation ol tle social ganes acted out by cus-
toners and vendors.
How tley act and wlat tley buy or sell is under-
stood in a nore lragnented way, nore akin to tle neo-tribes or tle new
49. Giddens, A., Modernity and self-identity, Featlerstone, M., Consumer culture
and postmodernism, Morck, M., Spel på ytan, Clarke, D., The consumer society and
the postmodern city.
50. Slater, D., Consumer culture and modernity, Varde, A., Consumption, food, and
taste, Fine, B., The world of consumption.
51. Fine, B. & Leo¡old, L., The world of consumption; Allaire, G.,“Quality in eco-
nonics. a cognitive ¡ers¡ectiveº & Gronow, J., “Standards ol taste and varie-
ties ol goodness. tle (un)¡redictability ol nodern consun¡tionº & Tiel, G.
& Hennion, A., “Discovering quality or ¡erlorning taste· A sociology ol tle
anateurº, In M. Harvey, A. McMeekin & A. Varde (eds.), Qualities of food.
52. Trentnann, F., ºKnowing Consuners Histories, Identities, Practices. An
Introductionº, In F. Trentnann (ed.), The making of the consumer.
53. Bourdieu, P., Distinction, Mallesoli, M., The time of the tribes, Melucci, A.,
Nomads of the present.
54. Bourdieu, P., Distrinction.
chapter 2 28
social novenents. Tle conce¡t ol cultural lragnentation, witl its locus
on tle disru¡tion ol old alhliations and social bonds, a¡¡lies well to tle
study ol consun¡tion. Tlis is linked to tle ideas ol a reßexive nodern-
ization, wlere ¡eo¡le in tle era ol ligl nodernity are described as re-
ßecting on tleir own belavior and ideals. Tlis in turn allows a greater
lreedon to close and negotiate identities, neanings, social relationsli¡s,
and autlenticity.
In nany res¡ects, wlat Antlony Giddens describes as
reßexive nodernization is acted out in tle narket lalls ol tle twenty-hrst
century, wlere identity and autlenticity are nediated tlrougl tle quest
lor quality.
The city
Tle cultures ol consun¡tion naterialize in a context, a ¡lace, and a land-
sca¡e. Tle ¡lace in tlis study is tle narket lall, ol course, and tle land-
sca¡e tlat interests us lere is tle city, and nore s¡ecihcally, tle nodern
city. Tle city and nodernity are vital to understanding tle cultures ol
consun¡tion taking ¡lace in tle s¡ecihc context ol tle narket lall. Tle
debate on nodernity in tle social sciences las indeed been very extensive,
and tlere will be no lengtly discussion ol it lere. Vlat is ol interest is
low tle tleoretical discussions about nodernity dehne nodernity, botl
as an ex¡erience and as a ¡articular ¡lase located in tine and s¡ace, witl
ca¡italisn and industrialisn being tle claracterizing leatures. Tle dis-
sertation ains at ca¡turing ¡arts ol tle ex¡eriences ol nodernity, and it
also s¡ans over a ¡eriod in listory tlat corres¡onds to tlis ¡lase.
To Giddens, tle tlree nain elenents ol nodernity are. 1) tle se¡ara-
tion ol tine and s¡ace, 2) tle disenbedding ol social institutions, and 3)
institutional reßexivity.
Giddens also uses tle tern °ligl nodernityº to
claracterize wlat we are now ex¡eriencing. °Late nodernityº and °¡ost-
nodernityº are otler ways ol claracterizing our tines. Tlese also relate
to botl an ex¡erience and a ¡articular ¡lase. Tle idea ol tle dynanic
claracter, tle notion tlat social clange is nore ra¡id tlan ever belore,
seen to luse tlese dillerent ¡ers¡ectives. Tle nodern ¡aradign las also
received attention as an en¡irical object ol study.
To exanine tle nar-
ket lall is also one way ol studying nodernity as an en¡irical ¡lenon-
enon, and to analyze sone ol tle concrete nanilestations ol nodernity.
55. Giddens, A., Modernity and self-identity, ¡. 16-21.
56. Giddens, A., Modernity and self-identity, ¡. 17-21.
57. Lien, M. L., Marketing and modernity, J. X. Inda (ed.), Anthropologies of Mo-
theoretical perspectives 29
Notions and ideas ol nodernity exist in relation to notions and ideas
ol tle ¡ast. Vlen tle notion ol nodernity equates it witl ¡rogress, tle
¡ast is cast in a negative way, as being old-laslioned and outdated. In
general, tle ronantic notions ol tle ¡ast reler to a distant ¡ast. Here tle
nodern is contrasted witl tle ¡ast as in tle sense ol tle traditional, tle
autlentic. As Valter Benjanin ¡ut it, we des¡ise yesterday and long lor
tle days belore yesterday. In tle narket lall, tle notions ol tradition,
¡ast, and ¡resent are subject to renegotiations and reinter¡retations.

Il tle nodern was associated nost vividly witl tle urban in tle nine-
teentl and early twentietl century, tle nodern condition is no longer
conhned to tle city alone, nor can tle city be dehned according to one
nodel. My study aligns itsell witl tle tleoretical ¡roject ol Asl Anin
and Nigel Tlrilt, wlicl sees tle city as inlerently dynanic and inbued
witl nulti¡le ten¡oralities and s¡atialities. In tle words ol Anin and
Tlrilt, ¡laces °are best tlouglt ol not so nucl as enduring sites but as
moments of encounter, not so nucl as '¡resents`, hxed in s¡ace and tine,
but as variable events, twists and ßuxes ol interrelation.º
Tle nain clar-
acteristic is tlus tle encounter, wlicl is seen °as a lornative elenent ol
tle urban world.º

Places as °nonents ol encounterº ¡ut tle locus on wlat can be
terned sociability. Vlen ex¡loring sociability or sociation, to use a tern
coined by Georg Sinnel, as a set ol inlornal social relations, tle urban
setting las olten eitler been ¡ortrayed as a site ol isolation, or as a close-
knit connunity. In lact, it niglt be nore rewarding to study sociability
tlrougl tle ty¡es ol social interaction situations and tle ty¡es ol na-
terial contexts lound, witlout strictly dividing it into ¡olarities ol Ge-
neinsclalt vs. Gesellsclalt, rural vs. urban, coo¡erative vs. con¡etitive,
or connunal vs. anonynous. Instead, tlese are olten ¡arallel and co-
constitutive, and are acted out de¡ending on tle context.
Tlis view ol
tle urban is consisent witl Anin & Tlrilt`s tleoretical ¡roject. to study
tle nulti¡le ten¡oralities and s¡atialities ol tle dynanic ¡laces wlicl
nake u¡ tle urban ex¡erience. Furtlernore, tlis a¡¡roacl will lel¡ us
understand tle context ol tle narket lall and its translornations duing
tle long twentietl century.
58. I an indebted to Jolan Fornas lor ¡ointing tlis out.
59. Anin, A. & Tlrilt, N., Cities: reimagining the urban, ¡. 30, original en¡la-
60. Anin, A. & Tlrilt, N., Cities: reimagining the urban, ¡. 30.
61. Savage, M., Varde, A. & Vard, K., Urban sociology, capitalism and modernity,
¡. 96-110.
chapter 2 30
Anin and Tlrilt s¡eak ol tle ¡articular ecology ol tle city, wlere tle
leterogeneity itsell grants and sustains a narket lor consuner goods,
lousing, leisure, lood, and ¡ublic goods.
Tley are carelul to ¡oint
out lowever tlat tle °city no longer ex¡eriences sell-ex¡anding growtl
based on local consun¡tion.º,
but ratler is ¡art ol con¡lex global net-
works. Tle global networks go beyond tle actual sourcing ol ¡roducts
and services. As cities con¡ete on an increasingly international arena, tle
connodihcation ol cities as an ex¡erience becones nore acute. Anin
and Tlrilt s¡eak ol low tlere is a tendency to assign or narket s¡ecihc
tlenes lor cities, in order to turn tlen into connodities. It is a way to
°re-engineer tle ex¡erience ol citiesº, wlicl is con¡arable to tle in¡act
ol Haussnann`s boulevards. Only lere it is not tle result ol one naster
¡lan, but ratler tle ellect ol several atten¡ts. °Vlat is new is tle general
¡ervasiveness ol tlis ¡lenonenon and tle construction ol a systenatic
body ol knowledge ol wlat s¡aces entertain low wlicl inlorns it.º

Nevertleless, neiglborloods are a¡¡reciated lor tleir s¡ecihc unique-
ness, tleir distinctiveness, and not lor tleir conlornity. In¡ression and
inage nanagenent lave becone increasingly in¡ortant to kee¡ tlis dis-
tinctiveness, and tlus guarantee econonic and ¡olitical success.
can be seen in tle narket lalls ol today wlo carelully nanage tleir in-
age, and wlo use listory as one ol tle tools to create distinctiveness. Tle
landsca¡e ol consun¡tion described by Slaron Zukin in ler Landscapes of
power connects tle urban studies tradition and consun¡tion studies in a
lruitlul way. Zukin looks into low cuisines and gentrihcation sla¡e tleir
own consun¡tion landsca¡es and tleir own logics.

In tle sane vein as Zukin, tle tern landsca¡e is used in tlis disserta-
tion as a neta¡lor to ex¡lain low tle city and consun¡tion interact in
relation to tle narket lall. Tle result ol tlis interaction is tle lornation
ol a s¡ecihc sense ol ¡lace lor wlicl tle neta¡lor landsca¡e, witl vari-
ous ¡rehxes, las been used. In tle hrst ¡art ol tle dissertation, retail and
urban landsca¡es doninate. In tle second ¡art, retail and consun¡tion
landsca¡es are tle nost lrequent. In tle tlird ¡art, tle tern consun¡-
tion landsca¡e las largely re¡laced tle tern retail landsca¡e, to desig-
62. Anin, A. & Tlrilt, N., Cities: reimagining the urban, ¡. 70-73.
63. Anin, A. & Tlrilt, N., Cities: reimagining the urban, ¡. 71
64. Anin, A. & Tlrilt, N., Cities: reimagining the urban, ¡. 124, original en¡la-
65. Savage, M., Varde, A. & Vard, K., Urban sociology, capitalism and modernity,
¡. 145-146.
66. Zukin, S., Landscapes of Power. See also Zukin, S., Point of Purchase.
theoretical perspectives 31
nate tle slilt towards consun¡tion as tle ¡rinary notor ol tle overall
econony, as well as a tool ol sell-realization.
Tlis las in¡lications lor low tle narket lall las been inter¡reted in
tle last ¡art ol tlis study, wlere tle narket lall las been integrated into
tle u¡scale gentrihed side ol tle ex¡erience industry. Consun¡tion and
entertainnent becone nixed lere. According to Anin and Tlrilt, tlese
new s¡aces can be seen as a lorn ol inaginative esca¡e, claracterized by
being liglly interactive, tleatrical, onnisensory, and ada¡tive.
Lven il
tle ¡laces tley are s¡eaking ol in tlis context are not narket lalls, tle
¡atls taken by tle narket lalls are sinilar. Tle ¡roduce itsell is no lon-
ger enougl. Instead, events hll tle narket lalls wlicl strive to becone
not only lood en¡oriuns, but also ex¡erience en¡oriuns.
Anin`s and Tlrilt`s tleoretical a¡¡roacles are extrenely lel¡lul in
an analysis ol tle narket lall lron tle lornation ol nodernity in tle
late nineteentl century Stockloln to tle consolidation starting in tle
inter-war years. Tley are also uselul to analyze tle increasing question-
ing ol large scale rationalization ol tle lood sector, and in ¡articular ol
lood retail, in tle late twentietl and twenty-hrst century, tlat is, tle late
nodern era. Tle locus on ¡lace as a source ol con¡etitiveness con¡le-
nents tle sociological tleorizing on consun¡tion in tle nore restricted
sense discussed earlier. Tle role ol ¡lace las received a growing attention
in tle last decades. Tle geogra¡ler Miclael Stor¡er, anong nany otler
sclolars, las rediscovered tle region as a res¡onse to tle clallenges ol
Tle intense ¡atterns ol interaction, botl con¡etitive and
coo¡erative, tlat listorically claracterized industrial districts and suc-
cesslul regions today, las also ins¡ired studies on a new urban govern-
In ¡articular inner cities are u¡graded as ¡otential arenas lor
econonic success.

Tlis line ol tlinking las lound sone ol its nost salient ex¡ression
in tle works ol Riclard Florida, and las led to tle entlusiastic clanor
ol urban governnents anxious to renain con¡etitive.
Tlis trend las
been investigated in a nore critical nanner by otler sclolars, sucl as
Anin and Tlrilt. Tley slow low °soltº indicators, sucl as social aneni-
67. Anin, A. & Tlrilt, N., Cities: reimagining the urban, ¡. 124-125.
68. Stor¡er, M., The regional world: territorial development in a global economy.
69. Osborne, T. & Rose, N., °Governing cities. notes on tle s¡atialisation ol
virtueº, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 17(6), ¡. 737 760.
70. Porter, M. L., °Tle Con¡etitive Advantage ol tle Inner Cityº, Harvard
Business Review, May-June 1995, ¡. 53-71
71. Florida, R. L., The rise of the creative class; Florida, R. L., Cities and the creative
chapter 2 32
ties, lave becone a signihcant lactor in urban investnent decisions.
low tlis actually turns out, low tle solt anenities and tle knowledge
in cities are translated and translorned into econonic ca¡ital and con-
nercial values, is lard to ¡redict.
Tle renewed interest lor tle local and
local}global in regional and urban contexts nay seen to be ol relevance
only lor tle conten¡orary ¡art ol ny study. Nonetleless, I tlink it can
be liglly lruitlul to renain sensitive to tle signihcance ol ¡lace in tle
listorical ¡arts ol tle dissertation as well.
Tle tleoretical sources ol ins¡iration ¡resented above nay a¡¡ear
dis¡arate. However, in a nulti-disci¡linary study wlicl ains at an un-
derstanding ol low tle consun¡tion culture and tle s¡atial dinension
ol lood consun¡tion lave been articulated over a century, tlere can be
no single tleoretical lranework tlat will sulhce. Instead, tle nost lruit-
lul a¡¡roacl is to utilize a conbination ol dillerent a¡¡roacles related
to eacl ol tle overarcling researcl questions. Tlis slould not be inter-
¡reted as enbracing a non-reßexive eclecticisn. On tle contrary, by con-
lronting dillerent tleoretical traditions, a nore con¡lex understanding
can be reacled.
Quality, rationality and authenticity
Tle tlree conce¡ts ol quality, rationality and autlenticity lave crystal-
lized into tle structural elenents ol tle analysis ol tle en¡irical nate-
rial. Tley serve as ny °inter¡retative sclenesº,
and they are the result
ol tle interaction between tleory and analysis ol tle en¡irical naterial.
Below is a discussion ol tle tleoretical loundations lor tlese conce¡ts.
To dehne quality is a delicate task ¡erneated by anbiguities. It reßects
tle ¡osition ol tle ¡erson wlo uses tle tern, tle ¡roducer, tle vendor, or
tle consuner. Belind all tlese dehnitions we also hnd tle dehnitions ol
quality sti¡ulated by tle rules and regulations ained at ¡rotecting ¡ublic
lealtl and tle lreedon ol trade and con¡etition. How tlese norns lave
been articulated in tle course ol listory is subject to legal, econonic, and
¡olitical as¡ects, and it is inlorned by tle underlying cultural and social
72. See also Bell, D., °Tle los¡itable cityº, Progress in Human Geography 31(1),
2007, ¡. 7-22, lor a nuanced discussion ol tle contradictions inlerent in
urban lile, and Neal, Z. P., “Culinary Deserts, Gastrononic Oases. A Clas-
sihcation ol US Citiesº, Urban Studies, Vol. 43, No. 1, 1-21, January 2006, lor
an account ol low we can atten¡t to classily tle consun¡tional identity ol
73. Anin, A. & Tlrilt, N., Cities: reimagining the urban, ¡. 73-75.
74. Tle neta¡lor ol inter¡retative sclenes cones lron Giovanni Arrigli.
See Arrigli, G., The long twentieth century, ¡. ix.
theoretical perspectives 33
values tlat inbue every as¡ect ol tle notion ol quality. An additional lac-
tor tlat con¡licates tle equation lies in tle asynnetries ol inlornation
and tle conventions tlat lrane our understanding ol wlat constitutes

Quality is nade in tle individual and collective con¡ronises around
its constitutive elenents. In tlis sense, it is a convention between tle vari-
ous actors tlat contribute to tle realization ol quality. It is botl a norna-
tive and dynanic ¡rocess, and tle actors actively contribute to negotiate
wlat constitutes tle elenents ol quality in a collective discussion tlat is
or is not su¡¡orted by nore olhcial regulations.
Tlere are certain es-
sential dinensions in tle construction ol quality. tle ¡roduct itsell, tle
nonetary value it connands, tle trust tle ¡roduct ins¡ires or lails to
ins¡ire, global, national and local regulations, as well as tle role ¡layed by
ex¡ertise in establisling wlat attributes slould be neasured and valued
in tle dehnitions ol quality.
Tle conce¡t ol quality alnost always las a ¡ositive connotation. But
tle tern is ¡roblenatic. Quality relers to certain attributes ol an object
tlat can to a certain extent be neasured, in tle case ol lood tlis can be
nutrition value, or low succulent or sweet it is. Most loodstulls lave sev-
eral attributes, but exactly wlat attributes are tle nost valued varies over
tine. Sone attributes sucl as lresl, lrozen, lone-nade, or lactory-nade
could be used in a ¡urely descri¡tive ratler tlan nornative way. However,
tle conce¡t quality tends to blur tle descri¡tive and tle nornative. we
s¡eak ol lood as laving quality (certain descri¡tive attributes) and olten
nix tlis witl value-laden judgnents about tle nornative value ol tlese

Tlere are several ways we nay study tle conce¡t ol quality. 1) utilize
dillerent °orders ol wortlº, sucl as aestletic, econonic, or etlical, wlicl
niglt be seen as ex¡ressing inconnensurable qualities, quality is lere
seen as contingent, s¡ecihc in tine and s¡ace, 2) investigate low rules
and regulations lavor various actors in tleir as¡iration to dehne quality,
75. Stanziani, A., Histoire de la qualité alimentaire, XIXe-XXe siècle, ¡. 419-424,
Stanziani, A., “Prélaceº, In A. Stanziani (ed.), La qualité des produits en France,
XVIIIe-XXe siècle, ¡. 8.
76. Stanziani, A., Histoire de la qualité alimentaire, XIXe-XXe siècle, ¡. 419-424,
Stanziani, A., “Prélaceº, In A. Stanziani (ed.), La qualité des produits en France,
XVIIIe-XXe siècle, ¡. 8-9.
77. Voronoll, D., “Postlaceº, In A. Stanziani (ed.), La qualité des produits en
France, XVIIIe-XXe siècle, ¡. 299.
78. Harvey, M., McMeekin, A. & Varde, A. °Introductionº, In M. Harvey, A.
McMeekin & A. Varde (eds.), Qualities of food, ¡. 2.
chapter 2 34
by evaluating tle ¡ower relations to see wlo las tle greatest ¡otential
ol advancing tleir notion ol quality, 3) view quality as tle outcone ol a
¡rocess ol negotiations, 4) view quality as tle result ol a tlick descri¡tion
ol tle social ¡rocesses, wlere dehnitive intrinsic attributes and relevant
¡ositive valuations are lused to ascribe quality to ¡roducts.

To deal witl issues ol lood quality and assurance as a najor asset in
tle ¡roduction ol quality, Terry Marsden las introduced tle conce¡t
ol °quality clainº to ex¡lain low snall ¡roducers narket local lood us-
ing tle notion ol °qualityº as one ol tle najor stakes to ¡ronote and
le gitinize tleir own ¡ractices. Marsden sees tlese °alternative lood net-
worksº as a battle lor knowledge over dehnitions ol good quality and
low lood slould be ¡roduced, distributed, and consuned. In tlis lrane-
work, quality is seen as laving botl social and teclnical dinensions. Tle
conventional industrial cor¡orate retailers lave in¡osed strict lygienic
dehnitions ol quality in tle conventional su¡¡ly clains. Tle alternative
dehnitions ol quality in ecological and regional quality conventions clal-
lenge tle conventional systens.
Tle ¡lace ol narket lalls in tlis quality
battle is not set. It de¡ends on tle ongoing negotiations in tle narket
lalls, on tle collective understandings tlat vendors and custoners clisel
out, on ideals enbraced and in ¡ractice entertained.
Tle con¡anion conce¡ts ol rationality and autlenticity reßect nucl
ol tle sane anbiguities and situatedness tlat claracterize tle conce¡t
ol quality. Tley lave also been subject to reinter¡retations and recodings
over tle course ol tine. Originally, tle conce¡t ol rationality was nainly
used in connection witl econony ol resources. Later on, it acquired its
close association to nodernity.
Rationality and rationalizations becane
tle catcl¡lrases in business circles, as well as anong social relorners
and ¡oliticians. Rationality was nodernity, and witlout it tle nodern
wellare state could not ¡revail. Nowlere was tlis locus on tle blessings
79. Harvey, M., McMeekin, A. & Varde, A. °Conclusion. quality and ¡rocesses
ol qualihcationº, In M. Harvey, A. McMeekin & A. Varde (eds.), Qualities of
food, ¡. 194-195.
80. Marsden, T., “Tleorising lood quality. sone key issues in understanding
its con¡etitive ¡roduction and regulationº, In M. Harvey, A. McMeekin &
A. Varde (eds.), Qualities of food , ¡. 129-130. For a discussion ol quality and
its connection to ¡lace, see Goodnan, D., “Tle quality `turn` and alternative
lood ¡ractices. Reßections and agenda, Journal of Rural Studies, 19, 2003, ¡.
1-7, and Goodnan, D. & Goodnan, M., “Localisn, liveliloods and tle `¡ost-
organic`. Clanging ¡ers¡ectives on alternative lood networks in tle United
Statesº, In D. Maye, L. Holloway & M. Knealsey (eds.), Constructing alternative
food geographies.
81. Gellner, L., Reason and culture: the historic role of rationality and rationalism.
theoretical perspectives 35
ol rationality nore ¡roninent tlan in tle ideological and ¡ractical work
ol tle coo¡erative novenent.
Tle listory ol tle coo¡erative novenent
is interesting in relation to tle ¡atl taken by tle narket lalls. Vlen
tle narket lalls lailed to ¡resent tlenselves as rational, tle coo¡erative
novenent was leading tle way as clan¡ions ol rationality and noder-
nity. Tle association was so tlorougl tlat tle coo¡erative novenent
lailed to reinvent itsell successlully wlen rationality lost its a¡¡eal. Tle
narket lall tlen energed as a clan¡ion ol autlenticity, a nucl nore
successlul strategy in tle ¡eriod ol late nodernity.
Tle listory ol autlenticity as a conce¡t is also long and con¡lex. It
traces its origins to tle beginnings ol tle nodern ¡roject.
But tle au-
tlenticity tlat interests us in relation to tle listory ol tle narket lall is
ratler tle connodihed autlenticity tlat Llizabetl Outka ¡laces in late
nineteentl century and early twentietl century Britain. At tlis ¡oint in
tine, writers, advertisers, and arclitects began to create and sell inages
ol an autlentic cultural realn, rile witl nostalgic ¡ictures ol a ¡astoral,
idyllic ¡ast.
Tle sane tine ¡eriod also ins¡ired botl a recalling and an
invention ol traditions.

Tle cultural ¡ower ol autlenticity as a narketing tool was so great
tlat even tlougl tle result was tlat autlenticity was connodihed, it
was still considered as outside tle narket¡lace. Tle quest lor autlentic-
ity can be considered as tle antitlesis ol tle energing nass narket, but
Outka ¡oints to tle in¡ortance ol connodihed autlenticity lor botl
nodernisn and nodernity.
In tlis sense, tle relationsli¡ between tle
quest lor autlenticity and tle ¡ursuit ol rationality are two sides ol tle
sane coin ol nodernity, as we will see in tle debates over low to organize
tle lood narkets in Stockloln.
Tle tern autlenticity las tlus been recoded several tines, and its
¡o¡ularity ßuctuates. It is ¡erla¡s a sign ol tle tines tlat Jose¡l Pine
and Janes Gilnore, wlo traced tle contours ol tle (u¡¡er niddle class)
ex¡erience econony,
now lave noved on to analyze autlenticity. In
82. Aléx, P., Den rationella konsumenten, ¡. 18-19.
83. For an overview ol tle ¡liloso¡lical roots ol tle conce¡t ol autlenticity,
see lor exan¡le Ferrara, A., Reflective authenticity: rethinking the project of moder-
nity and Taylor, C., The ethics of authenticity.
84. Outka, L., Consuming traditions: modernity, modernism, and the commodified
85. L. J. Hobsbawn & T. O. Ranger (eds.) The invention of tradition, is ol course
tle classic relerence.
86. Outka, L., Consuming traditions: modernity, modernism, and the commodified
87. Pine, B. J. & Gilnore, J. H., The experience economy.
chapter 2 36
tleir recent book, Authenticity: what consumers really want, Gilnore and
Pine continue to ca¡ture tle desires ol a ¡rinarily wlite niddle class.

Tle desire lor autlenticity is also ex¡lored by Slaron Zukin in an article
on low autlenticity is negotiated and acted out in tle urban context ol
New York City.
Tle a¡¡roacl taken to tle conce¡t ol autlenticity in
ny study ol narket lalls draws on Outka and Zukin. Outka is uselul
lor situating tle conce¡t ol autlenticity in tine and s¡ace, wlicl las
relevance lor tle connection between tle connodihed autlenticity and
nodernity. Zukin is lel¡lul lor understanding wlat constitutes a city,
and low every s¡ace and every ¡lace nust be understood in relation to
eacl anotler. Tlis indirectly las in¡lications lor wlat can be dehned
and wlat will be dehned as autlenticity in late nodernity.
Outka las tle greatest relevance lor tle hrst ¡art ol tle study, in un-
derstanding low tle larner could becone sucl an iconic hgure, and to
¡erceive wlat was really at stake in tle debates over wlat constituted
quality and sound trade at around tle turn ol tle nineteentl century.
Zukin`s accounts ol late nodernity and consuners` desire lor autlentic-
ity nirrors tle hndings lron tle etlnogra¡lic heldwork in tlis disserta-
tion. Tle urban ex¡erience in New York and Stockloln dillers ol course,
but tle sinilarities and dillerences bring out botl tle connon ground
and tle unique claracetistics ol Sweden in late nodernity.
88. Gilnore, J. H. & Pine, B. J., Authenticity: what consumers really want.
89. Zukin, S., °Consuning autlenticity. Fron out¡osts ol dillerence to neans
ol exclusionº, Cultural Studies, Vol. 22, No 5, Se¡tenber 2008, ¡. 724-748.
Ethnography and history:
a long-distance relationship?
Tlis dissertation s¡ans over a long tine ¡eriod. It nakes use ol dillerent
netlods, drawing on listory as well as etlnogra¡ly. In tle etlnogra¡lic
¡art ol tle study, heldwork is undertaken in tlree dillerent locations.
Tlis raises a lot ol questions. Vlat are tle in¡lications ol tle lact tlat
I close to study tlree dillerent narket lalls, eacl witl its own s¡atial
claracteristics and se¡arate listorical trajectories· In wlat ways does tle
long tine ¡ers¡ective nake ne see tlings dillerently· How can tle lis-
toric ¡ers¡ectives beneht tle conten¡orary naterial· And low can tle
etlnogra¡lic enricl tle listorical analysis·
Tle hnal reading ol tle arclives ¡ertaining to tle nineteentl and
early twentietl century is liglly inßuenced by tle etlnogra¡lic ex¡e-
rience. One ol tle strengtls witl etlnogra¡ly is tlat it brings out tle
in¡ortance ol cultural lraning. Historical antlro¡ology gives insiglts
into low etlnogra¡lic netlods can enlance tle inter¡retation ol lis-
toric sources. For exan¡le, wlen tle listorical antlro¡ologist Brian Axel
s¡eaks ol treating arclival docunents °as signs signilying tle ellectivity
ol dis¡arate lorns ol colonial ¡ractice to generate 'trutl`, and °bringing
an etlnogra¡lic sensibility to an arclival objectº,
tlis resonates witl
1. Axel, B. K., °Introduction. Historical antlro¡ology and its vicissitudesº, In
B. K. Axel (ed.), From the margins, ¡. 14.
chapter 3 38
low I lave inter¡reted tle naterial lron tle Stockloln City Arclives.
To take tlis stance seriously neans to see °arclival docunents as do-
nains ol knowledge ¡roduction tlat are rile witl intertextuality, ¡oly-
senia, and contradictionº.
Ol course, tle Stockloln City Arclives do
not reßect a colonial ¡ast, but tle attitude taken by tle elites towards tle
lower classes in tleir own countries lave certain sinilarities to tle colo-
nial adninistrations. Tle ain was to educate and in¡rove, and to order
and restructure.
Vlen tle narket lall was introduced in Sweden, it was clearly a to¡-
down relorn endorsed by tle u¡¡er niddle classes. Tle relorners, wlo
were nostly nale, lad sonewlat linited insiglt into tle ¡ractical reali-
ties ol tle wonen in clarge ol tle lood slo¡¡ing. Fron tle ¡oint ol view
ol tle nale relorners, tle stu¡idity and stubbornness ol tle lousewives
and tle naids were inex¡licable. Tley ollered hrst-class lacilities, and tle
conservative lousewives relused to recognize tle advantages ol tle lacili-
ties. Tle traces ol tlis story in tle arclival records lron tle Stockloln
City Council s¡eak ol tle ¡ast lron tle ¡oint ol view ol tle nale elites. Il
we renain vigilant ol wlose voices are s¡eaking, we nay see tle ellects ol
tle nisnatcl between tle ex¡ectations ol tle relorners and tle realities
ol tle lousewives. In lact, tlis nisnatcl nay in ¡art ex¡lain tle lailure
ol tle narket lall ¡roject in Stockloln. Anotler ¡art ol tle ex¡lanation
could be tlat tle relorns were not tlorougl or last enougl. Tle an-
bitious visions were never in¡lenented, and tle nagnihcent systen ol
narket lalls cane to nauglt.
Tle niddle ¡art ol tle dissertation about tle decline ol tle narket
lall is necessary to understand low tle narket lall went lron being tle
triun¡l ol nodernity to being considered an obsolete ¡arentlesis. Tlis
¡art is largely a listorical ex¡osition, and ex¡lains low, in late noder-
nity, tle narket lall was yet again recoded as sonetling desirable. In tle
niddle ¡art, we nake an excursion outside tle narket lall. Tle retail
landsca¡es under investigation lave been analyzed by otler researclers,
and tleir work, along witl segnents lron tle conten¡orary debates and
tle lands-on ¡ers¡ective ol tle trade journals, lave lorned tle basis lor
ny inter¡retations ol tle consun¡tion landsca¡es wlere tle narket lall
was but a vague rennant ol tle ¡ast.
Tle narket lall and tle interactions between custoners and vendors
in tle narket lall setting in tle early twenty-hrst century denand a dil-
lerent a¡¡roacl tlan tle listorical ¡arts ol tle study. In Navigators of the
Contemporary, David Vestbrook argues tlat etlnogra¡ly today is nore
2. Axel, B. K., °Introduction. Historical antlro¡ology and its vicissitudesº, In
B. K. Axel (ed.), From the margins, ¡. 14.
ethnography and history: a long-distance relationship? 39
about analyzing situations ratler tlan culture. Vitl ßoating identities ol
tle nodern condition, we all becone etlnogra¡lers ol ourselves, wlere
tle task ol tle etlnogra¡ler is nore about lel¡ing etlnogra¡lic sub-
jects articulating tlenselves - a kind ol °¡araetlnogra¡lyº to use Vest-
brook`s own tern.

In late nodernity, ex¡erience-oriented lood consun¡tion las risen to
¡roninence. Furtlernore, tle social denogra¡lics ol Stockloln lave
clanged to include nore ¡eo¡le witl ligler education. Tlese ¡eo¡le,
wlo can be said to belong to tle gastrononic niddle classes, are tle
¡rine targets ol tle ex¡erience-driven consun¡tion. In late nodern so-
cieties, tle non-standardized tlat is on dis¡lay in tle narket lall lolds
a ¡ronise ol sonetling nore autlentic, ol nore exquisite quality. Tle
narket lall becones a way ol ¡resenting tle sell. a late nodern lorn ol
lood consun¡tion.
Going to tle narket lall and buying tlings by tle
¡iece, ratler tlan tle ¡re-¡ackaged standardized lood itens on sale in
tle su¡ernarket, can be described as a subjective aestletic ex¡erience. It
is a searcl lor autlenticity, even il wlat is lor sale is ¡erla¡s nore sinilar
to tle connodihed autlentic tlan anytling else.
Tlis dissertation could alnost be seen as a lusion ol tlree dillerent
studies. Tle reason wly tlis design was closen is tlat a dialogue between
analysis ol conten¡orary and listorical ¡lenonena dee¡ens our under-
standing ol tle ¡resent situation, as well as ol tle ¡ast. Tle dillerent ¡arts
and tle dillerent naterial categories ol tle study enlance and ex¡and tle
lorizon ol understanding. Tley interact as eacl ¡art enricles tle otler,
and tle sun ol all tlree is greater tlan would lave been tle case lad I just
looked at one or two ¡eriods. Tle analytical questions lron tle niddle
¡art build on tle ex¡erience ol tle hrst and tle tlird. Vly did tle narket
lall lose its a¡¡eal· Vlat synbols ol nodernity are lorned during tle
interwar and ¡ost-war years· Tlese questions gain lron tle long listori-
cal ¡ers¡ective. Tlere are s¡ecihc netlodological denands lor eacl ¡art
ol tle study. Vitl researcl questions s¡anning over a long ¡eriod ol tine,
tlere is dialogue in tle overall way ol a¡¡roacling tle naterial.
Tle lact tlat tle tleoretical understanding ol tle city is ins¡ired by
Anin and Tlrilt, wlo see tle city as a ¡rocess, also las in¡lications lor
tle netlodological ¡ers¡ectives. °Tle city is nade u¡ ol ¡otential and
actual entities}associations}togetlerness wlicl tlere is no going be-
yond to hnd anytling 'nore real`. Tle accunulation ol tlese entities can
3. Vestbrook, D. A., Navigators of the contemporary, ¡. 42-44.
4. Tlis las been ins¡ired by Lrving Gollnan. See Gollnan, L., The presentation of self
in everyday life.
chapter 3 40
¡roduce new beconings.º
Tle evolution ol tle narket lall is a ¡rocess,
and tle evolution ol tle retail and consun¡tion landsca¡e is a ¡rocess.
Il indeed we are noving beyond a ¡laceless loodsca¡e,
tlen ¡art ol tle
solution to tle new lorns ol tlis new loodsca¡e niglt be lidden in tle
listory ol tle urban loodsca¡es. Tle anbition lere las been to assune
tle ¡osition ol tle reßexive walker, an encounter between tle researcler
and tle city. Tlis encounter las to be gras¡ed witl otler teclnologies ol
knowing. listorical records, city council records, news cli¡¡ings, literary
descri¡tions, and connercial naterial.
Tlis atten¡t at being a reßexive
walker las also translused tle conten¡orary ¡art ol tle study.
Brian Axel argues tlat in order to nake our work intelligible to otlers
we need to ask ourselves tle lollowing questions. Vlat is our context ol
analysis· How do we contextualize our inquiry· How are we to select our
analytic lrane· Tle questions nust not be asked in a naïve laslion, but
ratler we need to renain conscious ol low we co-¡roduce tle context,
and critically reexanine our inter¡retations and our analysis, as well as
our ¡reconce¡tions and our contextualization. It is lere tlat tle etlno-
gra¡lic eye ¡rovides a de¡tl to tle listorical netlods.
Tle tensions be-
tween tle dillerent contexts in wlicl tle narket lall as a ¡lenonenon
and as an idea was situated can be seen in tle ideals and tle inages ol
tle narket lalls ¡resented in tle olhcial docunents, and tle lrustration
over tle narket lall`s lack ol success, wlicl was attributed to tle illogi-
cal belavior ol consuners and vendors. Tle conce¡t ol context taken in
tlis critical vein las a lot in connon witl wlat Don Kalb and Hernan
Tak call critical junctions, i.e. a locus on relations tlrougl tine, relations
in s¡ace, relations ol ¡ower, and de¡endency and relations between dis-
tinct donains, sucl as econonics, law, and culture. Tlis includes also
tle renenbered, desired, re¡ressed, and inaginary relations. Tle rela-
tions studied could be lorizontal or lierarclical, but always dynanic and
Kalb and Tak actually dehne critical junctions as a natter ol
discovering and describing not only relations, but also context. °Context
is about low s¡ace and ¡lace, global and local listories interconnect to
5. Anin, A. & Tlrilt, N., Cities: reimagining the urban, ¡. 27.
6. Morgan, K., Marsden, T. & Murdocl, J., Worlds of food.
7. Anin, A. & Tlrilt, N., Cities: reimagining the urban, ¡. 10-14.
8. Axel, B. K., °Introduction. Historical antlro¡ology and its vicissitudesº, In
B. K. Axel (ed.), From the margins, ¡. 22.
9. Kalb, D. & Tak, H., ºIntroduction. Critical Junctions Reca¡turing An-
tlro¡ology and Historyº, In D. Kalb & H. Tak (eds.) Critical junctions: anthro-
pology and history beyond the cultural turn, ¡. 2-3.
ethnography and history: a long-distance relationship? 41
¡roduce a nulti¡licity ol interlinked nodernities.º
Tle local and tle
global are ¡art ol tle sane web, wlicl nakes wortlwlile °ex¡loring tle
intersections ol listorically s¡ecihc local ¡ractices witl ¡rocesses ol a
world listorical order.º
Ve see low tle local ¡ractice and ideals ol tle
narket lall in Stockloln interact witl tle global, in tle lorn ol tle rise
ol tle US econonic legenony described by Giovanni Arrigli, wlicl can
also be inter¡reted as an ex¡ression ol nodernity.
Tle interconnectivity ol tle study ol tle listorical and tle ¡resent
day is a lens lor understanding tle gradual evolution ol urban cultures
ol consun¡tion. It contributes to tle researcl about nodernity in a con-
crete way. it denonstrates low tle connon as¡ects ol tle noderniza-
tion ¡rocess were articulated in tle s¡ecihc context ol tle narket lall as
an urban neeting ¡oint. In tlis way, tle study contributes to our under-
standing ol urban culture as a set ol se¡arate activities segregated in tine
and s¡ace. Tle narket lall is a social and cultural neeting ¡lace, a ¡ass-
ing ¡lace, a lininal s¡ace ty¡ical ol urban settings in nodern tines.
During tle ¡rocess ol collecting naterial lor tle dillerent ¡arts ol tle
dissertation, I was looking lor tlenes and subtlenes in tle analysis ol
tle dillerent naterials. Lvery tine ¡eriod lad its own set ol naterials,
and every tine ¡eriod las been analyzed ¡artly in isolation lron tle otl-
er tine ¡eriods. Initially, tle tlenes were nore general and descri¡tive,
and several dillerent tlenes could a¡¡ly to tle sane incident. Gradually,
I souglt tlenes on a ligler level ol abstraction tlat would a¡¡ly to tle
entire ¡eriod, sonetling tlat would work as inter¡retative sclenes and
structure tle narrative ol tle dissertation. Tle constant ßux ol tleory,
ideas, naterial, ly¡otleses, tleory, naterial, new ideas, can be said to be
¡art ol a tleory-netlod-naterial nexus tlat lorn tle basis lor ny un-
derstanding ol tle narket lall and tle cultures ol consun¡tion in urban
lood retail.
As stated ¡reviously, tle conce¡ts ol quality, rationality and autlen-
ticity can tlus be said to be ny inter¡retative sclenes. Tle analytical lo-
cus las been on low tley lave been articulated tlrougl tine and s¡ace.
Quality, lor exan¡le, includes botl social and teclnical dinensions.
Food quality and assurance are lere inter¡reted as a battle lor knowledge
over dehnitions ol good quality and low lood slould be ¡roduced, dis-
tributed and consuned.
10. Kalb, D. & Tak, H., ºIntroduction. Critical Junctions Reca¡turing An-
tlro¡ology and Historyº, In D. Kalb & H. Tak (eds.) Critical junctions: anthro-
pology and history beyond the cultural turn, ¡. 23.
11. Axel, B. K., °Introduction. Historical antlro¡ology and its vicissitudesº,
In B. K. Axel (ed.), From the margins, ¡. 28.
chapter 3 42
Rationality, wlicl during tle hrst and tle second ¡eriod lad sucl a
desirable connotation, in tle tlird ¡eriod translates into standardized
blandness, and, to a certain extent, lood scares.
In tle hrst ¡eriod, tle
discourse ol lealtl and lygiene reveals an understanding ol tle city and
nodernity tlat is also enbedded in social and cultural values. a value
lranework tlat translates into a legal lranework ol regulations. Tlis is
carried even lurtler in tle second ¡eriod, wlen rationalization and au-
tonation gained nonentun tlrouglout tle ¡roduction-distribution-
In tle ex¡erience econony, values sucl as tradition, nostalgia, artisa-
nal, and snall-scale are equated witl tle desirable, tle autlentic sense
ol lood lost. Autlenticity is translated into a direct engagenent witl tle
ex¡ert on belall ol tle consuner. Tlis is visible in tle hrst and tle tlird
¡eriods, but in tle niddle ¡eriod tle ex¡ertise is translerred to tle lood
industry, and away lron vendors and consuners. In tle su¡ernarket
tlere is no roon, at least in a lornalized sense, lor tlese ty¡es ol discus-
sions, or even lor ¡roducts tlat were tle ex¡ression ol autlenticity in tle
hrst ¡eriod and ¡articularly during tle tlird ¡eriod. Tle autlenticity is
tlus ¡art ol an econony ol ex¡ertise, as well as an econony ol trust. Tlis
econony ol trust builds on a ¡articular ty¡e ol etlic, wlere tle inlornal
is celebrated, but it is also question ol a lorn ol ¡roduction ol connu-
In tle initial analysis nade on tle etlnogra¡lic naterial, tle conce¡t
ol °loci connunesº used by Miclael Billig was one way ol understanding
low ¡eo¡le talk about certain tlings according to certain conventions.
Vlen Billig uses °loci connunesº le relers to tle nutual conventions
tlat exist lor talking about certain tlings, certain tlenes, and low tlis
works alnost as a lorn ol nutual neeting ¡laces, as a nutual lorun lor
discussing tlenes. It is tle taken-lor-granted, tle assuned understand-
ings, tlat allow us to lollow a story, and tlat structure tle way we tell
a story.
Lven il Billig looked at stories about tle Britisl royal lanily,
stories about lood and lood consun¡tion work in sinilar ways. Several
¡revious studies about lood ¡oint in tlat direction witlout using tle
tern °loci connunesº.

12. Tle nost extrene case being tle nad cow disease ¡erla¡s. See lor exan-
¡le Sclwartz, M., How the cows turned mad.
13. Billig, M., °Collective Menory, Ideology and tle Britisl Royal Fanilyº, In
D. Middleton & D. Ldwards (eds.), Collective remembering.
14. See lor exan¡le Anderson, L. N., Everyone eats: understanding food and cul-
ture, H. Macbetl (ed.), Food preferences and taste, J. L. Vatson & M. L. Caldwell
(eds.), The cultural politics of food and eating.
ethnography and history: a long-distance relationship? 43
Tle notion ol loci connunes nay be connected to wlat Arjun A¡¡a-
durai calls °regines ol valueº, i.e. low certain connodities are ascribed a
value in a social context and low tlis value de¡ends on and interacts witl
tle social context.
Tlis study las used °loci connunesº and °regines
ol valueº as sources ol ins¡iration lor tlinking about tle interactions in
tle narket lalls. Tle actual terns used draw on tle neta¡lor ol con-
nunity, as in tle connunity ol gastronones, lor exan¡le, and tle tlree
structuring conce¡ts ol quality, rationality and autlenticity lave been
ins¡ired by A¡¡adurai`s regines ol value.
Method and material for part 1
Tle Stockloln City Council (ninutes, ¡ro¡osals, rescri¡ts, con-
nittee rescri¡ts, a¡¡endixes etc. to cover tle nunici¡al debate).
Tle City ol Stockloln Munici¡al Abattoir and Market Hall Board
(collection ol ¡ress itens lron tle hrst director ol board on tle
city`s narket lalls, annual re¡orts ol tle city`s narket lalls, etc.).
Conten¡orary descri¡tions.
Several arclitectural ¡eriodicals lave been tlorouglly searcled witlout
yielding any substantial result.
Tle sane goes lor trade journals like
Våra livsmedel or Köpmannen, and nore general ¡eriodicals like Ny illustre-
rad tidning.
Instead, we hnd tle debate on narket lalls in otler loruns.
Tle Stockloln City Council is tle nost signihcant lorun.
15. A¡¡adurai, A., °Introduction. connodities and tle ¡olitics ol valueº, In
A. A¡¡adurai (ed.), The social life of things.
16. Tidskrift för Byggnadskonst och Ingeniörsvetenskap (Journal lor tle Art ol
Building and tle Science ol Lngineering), issues 1859 to 1864 and 1867
to 1870 (tle issues available at Kungliga Biblioteket), Nordisk tidskrift för by-
ggnadskonst och slöjd samt tillämpad mekanik m.m. (Nordic Journal lor tle Art
ol Building and Handicralt and A¡¡lied Meclanics etc), witl only one year
ol ¡ublication, 1871, Tidning för Byggnadskonst (Journal lor tle Art ol Build-
ing), 1909 to 1923, Teknisk tidskrift (Journal ol Teclnology) 1867 to 1901, Tle
lollowing ¡eriodicals are indexed in a database. Arkitektur och dekorativ konst
(Arclitecture and decorative arts), 1901 to 1922, Byggmästaren (Tle Builder),
1922 to 1984, Arkitektur (Arclitecture) 1959 to 2004.
17. Våra Livsmedel (Our Provisions) 1911-1921, Köpmannen (Tle Merclant)
1912-1920, Ny Illustrerad Tidning (New Illustrated Journal) 1865-1900.
chapter 3 44
The Stockholm City Council
Most issues relating to tle construction ol narket lalls were debated in
tle Stockloln City Council as tley denanded leavy nunici¡al invest-
nent. Vletler tle City slould invest tlis noney was not an easily set-
tled natter. In 1873, lor exan¡le, tle Stockloln City Council advocated
a narket lall systen sinilar to tlat in Paris.
Tle result, lowever, was
Kottorget and Hotorget narket lalls built by tle city, but also a nun-
ber ol ¡rivately built and ¡rivately run narket lalls. Östernaln, Maria,
Svea, and Vasa. Lventually tle city assuned res¡onsibility lor Maria and
Östernaln narket lalls, but tle outcone was not deternined lron tle
start. Tle city also used existing buildings and converted tlen to narket
sleds, like at Nytorget, and built two narket lalls lor hsl. Tle Central
narket lall was inaugurated in 1913, and towards tle end ol tle First
Vorld Var an additional narket lall was ¡lanned and subsequently con-
structed in tle old town center, Malarlallen narket lall.
Many, like tle a¡¡ointed city veterinarian Sven Nystedt, s¡oke in la-
vor ol a narket lall systen and against tle o¡en air street narkets. Tle
costernongers, tle lawkers, and all tle niddlenen were de¡icted as tle
causes ol tle ligl ¡rices and tle low quality ol tle lood su¡¡ly, as well
as tle reason lor congestion and disorder. Tle solution closen by tle
City Council was to re¡lace tlen witl city connissionaires, a¡¡ointed
to oversee tle trade in tle ca¡ital at tle wlolesale narkets and narket
Questions ol res¡onsibility took center stage lere. Vlo slould
assune tle ultinate res¡onsibility lor securing tle lood ¡rovisioning ol
tle city· Public autlorities or ¡rivate enter¡rises· I lave investigated tle
years 1863 to 1933, wlicl basically cover tle golden years ol tle narket
lall construction u¡ to tle beginning ol its decline in tle 1920s. Tle year
1933 was closen because tlat year a wlolesale narket lall was construct-
ed, and tle idea ol retail narket lalls no longer lad tle center stage.
Tle debates and tle docunents lron tle Stockloln City Council
olten result in naterial nanilestations. buildings in tle city. Tlere are
several ways to a¡¡roacl buildings and arclitecture. Ins¡ired by David
Harvey, Mike Savage, Alan Varde and Kevin Vard suggest tlat we look
at tle city as an arena lor ¡ower struggles. Tlis denonstrates tlat tle
built lorn cannot be read sin¡ly as tle ¡roduct ol an age. S¡ecihc social
grou¡s use tle built environnent as an arena to aclieve cultural lege-
nony and social and ¡olitical ¡ower. Tlis is wly buildings ol tle sane
¡eriod are nore likely to be tle result ol conßicting values and ¡ower
18. SCC, 35}1873.
19. Hirdnan, Y., Magfrågan.
ethnography and history: a long-distance relationship? 45
struggles tlan an ex¡ression ol connon values.
Tle inter¡retation ol
tle story ol tle Stockloln narket lalls draws on tlis. tle contrast be-
tween tle ligl-brow olhcial ideals and tle larsl realities ol actual con-
struction, and between ronantic uto¡ias ol city ¡lanning and tle ideals
and desires ol tle ¡o¡ulation living in tle city.
A city is ol course nore tlan tle olhcial debates ol its city council.
Ltlnologist Mats Hells¡ong suggests tlat a cultural claracteristic ol
tle city nay be ¡rovided by a study ol nany dillerent naterials. census
and tax registers, inventories, juridical ¡rotocols, guidebooks, nenoirs
and diaries.
Sinilar ty¡es ol naterials lave been collected to study tle
Stockloln narket lalls in order to understand low tle conten¡oraries
viewed consun¡tion and tle narket lalls. Tle nost in¡ortant hnding
consists ol tlirteen books containing news¡a¡er cli¡¡ings lron 1902-
1937 in tle Abattoir and Market Hall Board Arclive. Tle news cli¡¡ings
collection was initiated by tle hrst director ol tle Abattoir and Market
Hall Board, Martin Sandeborg. In lact, Martin Sandeborg started tlis
collection well belore le was a¡¡ointed director, wlen le was working
as tle a¡¡ointed city veterinarian, and tle collection continued alter lis
retirenent. Tle news cli¡¡ings cover a wide range ol subjects, alnost all
relating to tle nunici¡al abattoir, wlicl was under tle sane autlority
as tle narket lalls, or tle narket lalls tlenselves. Tle inter¡retation
ol tlese cli¡¡ings denands a great sensitivity to tle nuances ol dillerent
tine ¡eriods, but las served as an in¡ortant source lor understanding
tle clinate in wlicl tle narket lalls were conceived.

To hnd evidence ol tle in¡act ol tle narket lall on tle city ol Stock-
loln, tle yearbook lron tle Society ol Saint Lrik
(Sanlundet S.t Lrik)
was exanined tlrougl tle years 1906 2003. Lvery yearbook contains
a¡¡roxinately hve to six articles. Out ol tle ninety-seven books exan-
ined, only six articles toucled on tle subject ol narket lalls. One was
s¡ecihcally concerned witl Hotorget narket lall and its develo¡nent,
tle otler hve were clildlood clronicles wlere slo¡¡ing, in ¡articular at
Hotorget narket lall, was nentioned. Tle autlors ol tle hve clronicles
nostly lave u¡¡er niddle class backgrounds, exce¡t lor one dauglter ol
an artisan. Tle hrst clronicle a¡¡ears as late as in 1956. Two nore a¡¡ear
in 1958 and in 1959, wlereas tle two renaining turn u¡ in 1979 and in
20. Savage, M., Varde, A. & Vard, K., Urban sociology, capitalism and modernity,
¡. 125.
21. Hells¡ong, M., ºSvensk stad ur etnologens synvinkelº, In I. Hannarstron
& T. Hall (eds.), Perspektiv på Svensk stad.
22. Zintclenko, L., Stadens tidsbilder.
23. Saint Lrik is tle ¡atron saint ol Stockloln.
chapter 3 46
1989. All ol tlese articles were written by wonen, ¡robably because tle
¡urclase and ¡re¡aration ol lood lad a lairly trivial and everyday clar-
acter relegated to tle lenale s¡lere. Tle hrst volunes ol tle Saint Lrik
Yearbook clearly do not hnd eitler tle lorn or tle lunction ol narket
lalls to be ol interest. It nay well be tlat tle narket lalls were too old
to ¡resent tle clarn ol novelty, and yet not old enougl to rouse tle lis-
toric sensibilities ol tle nenbers ol tle Society ol Saint Lrik. Tle Society
ol Saint Lrik was a voluntary association and tle nenbersli¡ base was
usually drawn lron engineers, teaclers, arclitects, and otler grou¡s wlo
could be said to be ¡art ol tle educated urban elite.
To hnd traces ol tle elusive consuner and ler voice, a nunber ol
landbooks in knowledge ol connodities lave been studied, along witl
cookbooks and landbooks lor lousework and tle education ol young
lousewives. Tle result lron tlese investigations was sur¡risingly neager.
Over a ¡eriod ol lorty years, lron 1883 to 1923, tley reiterate tle sane
concerns. young wonen did not lave sulhcient education, wlicl in con-
bination witl tle anount ol new connodities in tle narket, o¡ened u¡
tle ¡ossibilities lor lraud and adulteration.
To understand tle s¡ecihcity ol tle narket lall, a contextual under-
standing ol tle listory ol Swedisl lood distribution was necessary. Ull
Ranne`s study on tle lood trade in Stockloln ¡rovides good statistics
and data lor tle organization ol tle lood trade, as does tle study by Sven
Gerentz and Jan Ottosson on tle sane subject. A study ol tle wlolesale
and retail trade in Sweden in tle twentietl century by Hugo Kyleback also
contributes to tle understanding ol tle develo¡nent ol tle lood trade in
Sweden. Peder Aléx`s study ol tle coo¡erative novenent is also uselul in
tlis res¡ect, altlougl tle locus in Aléx`s study is nore on tle cultural
signihcance ol tle coo¡erative novenent. Tle listory ol distribution in
Sweden is also exanined via tle develo¡nent ol tle ICA novenent, even
il tlis lolds greater signihcance in ¡articular lor tle second ¡art ol tle
Togetler, tlese studies ¡rovide an understanding ol tle
lood retail trade and tle ¡rovisioning ol cities against wlicl tle develo¡-
nents ol tle narket lalls nay be better understood.
24. Ranne, U., För det allmännas bästa, Gerentz, S. & Ottosson, J., Handel och
köpmän i Stockholm under ett sekel, Kyleback, H., Varuhandeln i Sverige under
1900-talet, Alex, P., Den rationella konsumenten, Nyberg, A., Innovation in the dist-
ribution channel, Kjellberg, H., Organising distribution.
ethnography and history: a long-distance relationship? 47
Method and material for part 2
Studies on tle develo¡nent ol tle retail trade, botl coo¡erative
and ¡rivate, and studies about distribution.
Conten¡orary books discussing tle retail and distribution ques-
Menoirs lron key actors.
Trade journals like Svenska förpackningar, Butikskultur, Fri köpen-
skap, Svenska stadsförbundets tidskrift.
Plotogra¡ls ol narket lalls in decline lron Stocklolns stads-
nuseun, tle Stockloln City Museun.
Tle ¡eriod ol decline was not a clean break witl tle ¡ast. Tle literature
tlat ¡rovided tle contextual understanding ol tle general retail land-
sca¡e lor ¡art 1 serve as tle ¡oint ol de¡arture lor understanding tle
develo¡nents in ¡art 2. Vlen tle narket lall lost its allure ol nodernity
and becane a non-issue, tlere was already a retail inlrastructure in ¡lace.
It was not ¡erlect, but it was nore successlul tlan tle narket lall. To
nake u¡ lor tle absence ol traces ol tle narket lall, ny attention was
tlus locused on tle evolution ol tle general retail landsca¡e. Tle retail
evolution was inter¡reted in relation to tle evolution ol Swedisl noder-
nity. Tlis larger story tlen ¡rovided tle lrane ol inter¡retation and un-
derstanding into wlicl tle s¡arse traces ol tle narket lall was inserted.
In 1942, tle lanous ¡lotogra¡ler Lennart al Petersens was en¡loyed
by tle Stockloln City Museun (Stocklolns stadsnuseun). He docu-
nented nucl ol tle inner city on tle tlreslold ol urban regeneration.
Tle ¡lotogra¡ls ol tle Stockloln narket lalls in tle 1950s and 1960s,
nostly by al Petersens, ¡oignantly reveal tleir decline. However, tley lave
served nore as a way to tlink about tle void ol tle narket lall, tlan a
basis lor analysis.
Tle conten¡orary debates, tle landbooks, and tle trade journals all
s¡oke ol tle greater story ol Swedisl nodernity and tle retail revolution.
Tley beaned over tle successlul retail lornats, tle sell-service stores, and
tle nodern ¡ackaging teclnology. Tle realities and tle inter¡retations
ol nodernity tley revealed s¡eak ol dillerent inter¡retations ol quality,
rationality, and autlenticity tlan in earlier eras. In tlese accounts, tle
national level was nore ¡ronounced. Tle su¡rene entity was tle wellare
state, not tle city. Still, tle investigation ol ¡art 2 kee¡s Stockloln as tle
nain locus as lar as ¡ossible.
chapter 3 48
Method and material for part 3
Partici¡ant observation in Östernaln, Hotorget and Soderlallar-
na narket lalls. Fieldwork conducted between Se¡tenber 2005
to August 2006.
Inlornal and lornal interviews witl custoners and vendors in
tle above-nentioned narket lalls.
Fornal interviews witl adninistrative ¡ersonnel lron tle lorner
Stockloln Market Hall Board.
Arclival naterial at tle Stockloln Market Hall Board (news¡a-
¡er cli¡¡ings, annual re¡orts, and registers ol vendors}tenants
lron 1975 to 2005, in hve year intervals).
Connercial naterial, ¡rinted and web-based, lron tle Market
Hall Board, tle vendors and trade associations in tle above-nen-
tioned narket lalls.
Why ethnographical methods?
Ltlnogra¡lic netlods oller a way ol analyzing conten¡orary ¡lenon-
ena, ol ca¡turing ¡ractices and ideals. For a nunber ol reasons, it was not
¡ossible to do etlnogra¡ly in tle traditional antlro¡ological sense, witl
tle ¡o¡ular notion ol living out in tle held lor at least a year, and getting
to know all as¡ects ol lile. Tle ¡rinary reasons are tlat narket lalls are
s¡ecihc settings, ¡laces ol connercial activity, wlicl are o¡en only dur-
ing hxed lours, and tlis linits tle access. Tlat tle narket lalls are only
o¡en during s¡ecihc lours is not necessarily a disadvantage, instead it
reßects tle conditions ol tle nodern urban ex¡erience. Tle narket lall
is a s¡ecihc s¡ace, a ¡lace in tle urban landsca¡e. Modern urban lives
are generally lived and ex¡erienced in dillerent ¡laces, and dillerent geo-
gra¡lic ¡laces tend to organize lile. To study tle narket lall is ¡art ol an
increasingly ¡rolihc lorn ol etlnogra¡ly wlicl is undertaken in diller-
ent work¡laces and in consun¡tion and business settings.
In order to
bring in sone ol tle lolistic a¡¡roacl tlat is tle lallnark ol antlro¡ol-
ogy, I atten¡ted to look at tle narket lall itsell lolistically.
25. Dunn, L. C., Privatizing Poland, Lien, M. L., Marketing and modernity, Mo-
eran, B., The business of ethnography, Moeran, B., Ethnography at work, Petersson,
M. Identitetsföreställningar, Sunderland, P. L. & Denny, R. M., Doing anthropol-
ogy in consumer research.
ethnography and history: a long-distance relationship? 49
Description of the field(s)
Östernaln, Hotorget, and Soderlallarna narket lalls are tle tlree exist-
ing narket lalls in Stockloln, eacl witl its own arclitecture, listory,
and claracter. For reasons ol nulti¡licity and o¡enness, I lound it no-
tivating to do held work in all tlree ol tlen. George Marcus advocates
nulti-sited heldwork in order to counter-balance ¡roblens ol reßexivity,
and to oller new ways ol doing etlnogra¡ly, es¡ecially wlen you do etl-
nogra¡ly °at loneº.
Also, I believe tlat in order to ca¡ture tle essence
ol tle narket lalls, tley need to be studied in relation to one anotler. I
lave alternated between tle tlree narket lalls, and s¡ent a¡¡roxinately
lour lours in eacl narket lall, belore clanging venue. Sonetines, low-
ever, I stayed in tle sane narket lall tle entire day. I lave alternated be-
tween o¡en and nore locused observations, de¡ending on ny knowledge
and laniliarity witl tle held, and wlat stage I was currently in netlod-
ologically and analytically.

Tle hrst narket lall in tle study, Östernaln narket lall, is located in
tle u¡¡er class district ol Östernaln, and caters to tle nost u¡scale cli-
entele. It was constructed in 1888, and it is tle only narket lall ¡reserved
lron tle hrst era ol narket lalls. It was tlreatened by denolition during
tle 1950s restructuring ol tle inner city, but was saved by ¡etitions and
tle lact tlat otler ¡arts ol tle inner city were being renodeled earlier,
and by tle tine Östernaln was lacing urban regeneration, tle general
leeling lad clanged. Östernaln narket lall u¡lolds an air ol tradition,
autlenticity, and venerability.
Tle original building ol tle second narket lall, at Hotorget, was ac-
tually denolisled in tle 1950s restructuring. Alter nucl debate, it was
hnally re¡laced by a new narket lall, wlicl was inaugurated in 1958.
Perla¡s as a concession to tle conßicting ideals about wlat kind ol city
was desirable, and as a sign ol tle relative (un)in¡ortance ol lood retail,
tle re¡lacenent was relegated to tle underground.
Hotorget narket
26. Marcus, G. L., ºLtlnogra¡ly In}Ol tle Vorld Systen. Tle Lnergence ol
Multi-Sited Ltlnogra¡lyº, Annual Review of Anthropology, Volune 24, 1995,
27. Adler, P. A. & Adler, P., °Tle Art ol Science Observational Teclniquesº, In
N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln, (eds.). Handbook of Qualitative Research.
28. In tle discussions about tle renovations ol Hotorget narket lall in No-
venber 2009, tle link between tle o¡en air narket and tle narket lall will
be nade nore visible by re¡lacing tle last lood restaurants at tle street level
witl lood stores. Tle nunber ol last lood outlets inside tle narket lall slall
also be reduced according to tle City Connissioner Kristina Alvendal, wlo
wisles to °¡ut Hotorget narket lall on tle gastrononic na¡º. In tle con-
chapter 3 50
lall is situated riglt in tle city center, nostly surrounded by olhces and
slo¡s, altlougl a lew residential buildings still exist. Hotorget narket
lall las tle nost international claracter ol tle tlree, witl slo¡kee¡ers
and nerclandise lron all around tle world. It also seens to attract tle
nost diversihed clientele.
Soderlallarna narket lall lron 1992 is tle nost recent ol tle tlree. It
is a narket lall located togetler witl otler lacilities in a connercial cen-
ter. However, it las a ¡rivileged ¡osition as one ol tle nain attractions in
tle center. Sodernaln used to be dehned as tle working class district ol
Stockloln, but increasingly lron tle 1980s tlis claracterization no lon-
ger a¡¡lies. A niddle class clientele witl nore u¡scale lood ¡relerences is
now tle ¡redoninant grou¡ in Sodernaln.
Miclèle de La Pradelle interviewed sone ol tle narket stall lolders in
ler study ol Car¡entras to hnd out nore about low tley view tleir busi-
ness, tle custoners, and tle way ol lile tley sell and live.
On a slightly
dillerent note, I lave in ny study locused nore on conversations witl tle
vendors on tlenes like trends, target grou¡s, regular custoners, and low
su¡¡liers are closen. Tlis resonates witl David Vestbrook`s argunent
about etlnogra¡ly as essentially a¡¡roacling subjects tlrougl conver-
sation and low tlis las a value all to itsell. it o¡ens u¡ tleoretical and
analytical ways ol ex¡loring conten¡orary society, wlicl res¡ects and re-
ßects tle ¡erce¡tions ol tle etlnogra¡lic subjects.

During slow lours, nost vendors lave been very acconnodating, and
I lave s¡ent a lot ol tine discussing various issues in tle narket lalls
witl tlen. Initially, tlese discussions took tle lorn ol inlornal inter-
views, ¡robably because tlat is an establisled lornat, a convention tlat
nost ¡eo¡le are laniliar witl, but nore olten it was conversations in
Vestbrook`s sense. Since I s¡ent less tine witl tle custoners, botl regu-
lar and occasional custoners, tle inlornal interview lornat was nore
connon witl tlen.
nents to tlis article, ¡eo¡le ex¡ress worries about tle luture ol tle narket
lall. See Gyllenberg, L-K., °Hotorgslallen rustas u¡¡ lor 60 niljoner kronorº,
DN, Novenber 5, 2009 and}stlln}lotorgslallen-rustas-u¡¡-lor-
60-niljoner-kronor-1.988492 lor tle online connents.
29. La Pradelle, M. de, Les vendredis de Carpentras.
30. Vestbrook, D. A., Navigators of the contemporary, ¡. 15-26.
ethnography and history: a long-distance relationship? 51
Many landbooks on low to conduct interviews reconnend starting
witl sin¡le questions like nane, age, occu¡ation, and so lortl.
In ny
inlornal interviews, tlese questions lave sonetines been too ¡ersonal.
Tle ¡rinary interest las instead been to establisl conhdence witl tle
interviewees, and to slow tlat ny interest is in tle issues ol consun¡tion
and narket lalls. Sone consuners and vendors ex¡ected ne to dis¡lay
taste and distinction in ny ca¡acity as a su¡¡osed ex¡ert and °lood re-
searclerº. Interviewees olten want to know wlat results tle researcler
las cone u¡ witl, or wlat otler ¡eo¡le lave said in ¡revious interviews
and low tle researcler las inter¡reted tlis.
Many vendors and cus-
toners did tlis. tle vendors wanted to see wlat tleir co-vendors, wlo
re¡resent botl con¡etition and co-o¡eration, lad said. Tle custoners
seened to seek assurance tlat tleir consun¡tion cloices were so¡lis-
ticated relative to otler consuners. Tlere are nany nornative notions
about lealtly eating, tle ¡ro¡er neal, and gastronony. Many consuners
wanted to dis¡lay wlat tley believed were tle ¡ro¡er attitudes, and at tle
sane tine cleck wlat tle researcler tlouglt about tlese issues. Many
also wanted to know wly tley were closen lor an interview. Sone ¡eo¡le
seened to be nore accustoned to being taken seriously and dis¡layed a
greater degree ol conhdence, and as long as tle questions were consistent
witl tle way tley ¡resented tlenselves in relation to lood and consun¡-
tion, tley were la¡¡y to answer.

In the field and outside
For tle heldwork, I lave nostly relied on conversations and to sone ex-
tent, interviews. My recollections ol tle conversations were written down
as heldnotes, as were sone ol tle interviews wlen tle interviewees did
not want to be recorded. I used various teclniques lor taking heldnotes.
As tle held becane nore laniliar to ne, I stayed lor longer stretcles ol
tine belore noting down tle in¡ressions and conversations. Vlen tlere
were situations tlat seened to be ol ¡articular signihcance, or situations
tlat sin¡ly cauglt ny attention in one way or otler, I retreated to write
down in as nucl detail as ¡ossible wlile it was still lresl in ny nind.
In tle evenings, I would transler ny notes to hles in tle con¡uter. Tle
heldnotes lave served as a way lor ne botl to hnd ¡atterns and to kee¡ a
31. See lor exan¡le Kvale, S., Den kvalitativa forskningsintervjun.
32. Rosenblatt, P. C., °Interviewing at tle border ol lact and hctionº, In J. A.
Holstein & J. F. Gubriun (eds.), Interview Research.
33. Odendall, T. & Slaw, A. M., °Interviewing elitesº, In J. A. Holstein & J. F.
Gubriun (eds.), Interview Research.
chapter 3 52
distance to ny naterial. At tle sane tine, it las also in a sense lel¡ed ne
overcone tle distance in tine and s¡ace lron tle situations I ained to
ca¡ture, and reßect over tle situated claracter ol ny inter¡retations.

One ol ny initial ideas was to lollow consuner ßows, to see wletler
tlere was nore intense activity during certain lours or certain days. An-
otler question was wlat ¡eo¡le do in tle narket lall. Do tley just stroll
around looking· Do tley eat in one ol tle restaurants· Vlat do tley
buy· How do tley buy tlings· Do tley ask to san¡le tle lood belore buy-
ing· Are tlere negotiations· Is advice asked lor or given· Tlese questions
can ¡artly be answered by lollowing tle consuner itineraries. Tlis tecl-
nique was used by nunerous researclers in tle slo¡¡ing nall ¡roject in
Solna Centrun.
Miclèle de La Pradelle acted in nucl tle sane way lor
ler study ol tle street narket in Car¡entras.
However, tlis ¡roved to be
lairly dilhcult during slow lours. Instead, I asked il I could cone slo¡-
¡ing witl a nunber ol custoners, and asked il tley could ex¡lain to ne
wlat tley were doing as we went along. Most ¡eo¡le did tlis willingly.
During busy lours it was nucl easier to ¡ass unnoticed, and as I got
to know tle vendors, ny ¡resence becane botl nore and less noticeable.
I becane nore noticeable because tle vendors knew wlo I was, and less
noticeable because tley would no longer ask il I needed lel¡ and I would
tlen be less noticed by otler custoners. Consuner ßows, or ratler tle
¡erceived intensity (or lack ol intensity) in tle consuner ßows, were one
ol tle tlings nost vendors and stall liked to discuss and connent on,
sonetines at lengtl. Tley con¡ared and evaluated tle nunber ol cus-
toners to tle nunber ol custoners tley would lave ex¡ected at tlis tine
ol tle day, tle week, tle nontl, or tle year.
Additional tools of interpretation
Anotler category tlat lel¡ed in answering tle questions about tle nean-
ing ol tle narket lall las been advertising naterial, botl ¡rinted and
web based.
Tlese lave been analyzed, along witl inlonercials lron tle
Stockloln Market Hall Adninistration on tle narket lalls. Vlen tle
Market Hall Adninistration ¡resented tle narket lalls on tleir website,
34. Vestbrook, D. A., Navigators of the contemporary, ¡. 97-99.
35. K. Becker, L. Bjurstron, J. Fornas & H. Ganetz (eds.), Passager.
36. La Pradelle, M. de, Les vendredis de Carpentras.
37. All tlree narket lalls lave tleir own websites wlere tley ¡resent tlen-
selves, in addition to wlat was said about tlen on tle websites ol tle Stock-
loln Market Hall Adninistration. Alter tle Market Hall Adninistration
nerged witl anotler adninistration in 2005, tle inlornation on tle website
becane nucl s¡arser.
ethnography and history: a long-distance relationship? 53
it was in tle tone ol inlonercials, and it indicated low tle city adninis-
tration wanted to ¡resent tle narket lalls. Tle narket lalls tlenselves
also lave tleir own websites, and alter tle Stockloln Market Hall Ad-
ninistration was incor¡orated into anotler Adninistration, tleir in-
¡ortance increased. More elaborate advertising naterial sucl as collee
table books to celebrate an anniversary, suitable as gilts witl tleir glossy
¡lotogra¡ls, also say sonetling ol low business owners want tle nar-
ket lalls ¡ortrayed. One exan¡le ol tlis is Ö-lallen, wlicl was connis-
sioned in 1997 by tle Market Hall Adninistration to celebrate tle reno-
vation ol Östernaln narket lall in 1995-97.

Sone ol tle larger vendors, like Melanders, lave tleir own advertis-
ing naterial ¡rinted in tle lorn ol news¡a¡ers, altlougl in tle lorn ol
advertisenents. Tlese are distributed witl SvD, one ol tle larger Swedisl
norning news¡a¡ers. One way ol inter¡reting tle advertising naterial
is ollered by tle Anerican geogra¡ler Robert Sack. Accroding to lin
we can analyze advertisenents in relation to nature, neaning, and social
relations. Vlat we ¡erceive (nature, tle naterial as¡ect ol tle connod-
ity) is inter¡reted (neaning, tle cultural values attacled to connodities)
tlrougl society (social relations, every connodity enbodies social rela-
tions in low it was ¡roduced, distributed and consuned). By weaving
tlese elenents togetler, consuners lorn a labric or tle context ol con-

Ratler tlan taking ¡lotogra¡ls, I lave been working witl exist-
ing ¡lotogra¡lic naterial. Tlis lad tle additional advantage ol saying
sonetling about low tle business owners and tle adninistrators want
to ¡resent tle narket lalls.
To use tlese kinds ol additional sources is an increasingly con-
non ¡ractice in etlnogra¡lic studies. Tle econonic listorian Martin
Gustavsson cites tle antlro¡ologist Mary Des Clene as an advocate ol
a conbination ol etlnogra¡lical netlods and classical netlods in lis-
tory, sucl as arclive researcl, to justily tlis line ol researcl as lruitlul
interdisci¡linary work es¡ecially lor volatile settings sucl as slo¡¡ing
nalls, or narket lalls lor tlat natter, wlere tle constant ßow ol ¡eo¡le
nakes it nore ol a transit ¡lace tlan a settled ¡lace.
George Marcus is
38. Carr, J., Ö-hallen.
39. Sack, R. D., Place, modernity, and the consumer’s world, ¡. 105-106, 133.
40. Gustavsson, M., ºHistorikernas ocl etnogralernas laltº in L. Genzoe (ed.)
Nutida etnografi, Kaijser, L., ºFaltarbeteº, & Silvén-Garnert, L., °Det nateri-
ellaº, In L. Kaijser & M. Öllander (eds.), Etnologiskt fältarbete, La Pradelle, M.
de, Les vendredis de Carpentras.
chapter 3 54
also an advocate ol tlis a¡¡roacl.
Ian Hodder talks about tle study
ol naterial culture. He stresses low tle signihcance ol naterial objects
nust always be inter¡reted in tleir cultural context, and situated in rela-
tion to ¡roduction and use. He also discusses tle notion ol tine in tle
study ol naterial culture, low naterial neaning varies over tine, and is
constantly subject to reinter¡retation. Tlis in¡lies tlat tle researcler
las to exanine ¡ast and ¡resent, as well as dillerent ex¡ressions ol nate-
rial culture.
Tle additional naterial, lor exan¡le tle docunents, lel¡s
to critically exanine tle observations and interviews, as it lacilitates to
¡ut tlese results into context. Tle interviews and tle observations allow
tle researcler to ex¡erience tlings hrstland. Botl tle inter¡retation ol
tle docunents and tle inter¡retation ol tle interviews and observations
tlus enlance one anotler.
41. Marcus, G. L., ºLtlnogra¡ly In}Ol tle Vorld Systen. Tle Lnergence ol
Multi-Sited Ltlnogra¡lyº, Annual Review of Anthropology, Volune 24, 1995,
¡. 95-117.
42. Hodder, I., °Tle Inter¡retation ol Docunents and Material Cultureº, In
N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln, (eds.). Handbook of Qualitative Research.
Part 1
Dreams of modernity:
the rise of the market hall
Stockloln at tle end ol tle nineteentl century was a city anxious to
enter tle ranks ol tle cities ol tle nodern Vestern world. Tle nain con-
cern ol city olhcials was to create a ¡ro¡er urban setting. In tlis endeavor,
donesticating tle rural, or ratler, extracting tle rural lron tle urban,
becane ¡aranount. At tle sane tine, tle city could not survive witlout
tle constant inßux ol ¡eo¡le and ¡roducts lron tle countryside. Tlis
develo¡nent was sell-reinlorcing. Tle nore ¡eo¡le noved to tle city, tle
nore ¡roducts were needed to leed tlen all, es¡ecially as tle ¡atterns
ol urban lood ¡roduction were gradually elininated.
Paradoxically, tle
desire to create distinctions and a hrn urban-rural divide, led to a re-
evaluation ol tle larner. Tle larner becane an iconic hgure, celebrated
as genuine and sound, and as a true ex¡ression ol tle Swedisl national
soul. Still, tlere was an urgent need to establisl lorns ol urban lood
distribution to secure a sulhcient, sale and (lo¡elully) nutritious urban
lood su¡¡ly.
1. A lot ol lood was ¡roduced in urban settings. In lact, growing lood and kee¡ing
livestock in tle city was connon ¡ractice until tle end ol tle 19
century. As tle city
ex¡anded, tlere was less roon lor ¡lantations and tle sounds and snells ol aninals
were less tolerated.
58 prelude
In tle 1860s and 1870s, tle role nodels lor tle organization ol tle
lood distribution were taken lron continental Luro¡e. Tlose advocating
a narket lall systen in Stockloln ¡ointed to tle Parisian narket lalls as
exan¡les ol low a nodern international city solved tle lood distribution
clallenge in a nodern and rational way. Tle `narket issue` was ¡rinarily
under debate in tle Stockloln City Council. Concerned citizens, wlo
lad visited continental Luro¡e, de¡lored tle state ol tle lood narkets in
tle Swedisl ca¡ital.

Tle hrst atten¡t was successlul, but it was a single, very rudinentary
narket lall built in 1875. Anotler nore luxurious narket lall o¡ened
seven years later, but overall tle Stockloln City Council was slow to act
and negotiations took tine. Tle situation in Stockloln was tlus lar
lron a hxed systen ol distribution on tle scale seen in Paris. Tle o¡en-
air narkets and tle narket lalls were ¡erceived as two as¡ects ol tle lood
distribution ¡roblen, and tle City Council a¡¡ointed a connittee in
1891 to investigate low tle city`s lood su¡¡ly ouglt to be conceived. Tle
Stockloln city olhcials were ¡rinarily looking at develo¡nents in Ber-
lin, wlere a set ol retail narket lalls were being constructed during tle
1890s. O¡en-air narkets and narket lalls in otler Luro¡ean and Swedisl
towns were also nonitored by tle narket connittee ol tle City Council.

Tle dillerence between retail and wlolesale narket lalls was beginning
to attract interest, but tle division was not well-dehned, and tle tern
'central narket lall` was used to indicate botl retail and wlolesale.
How tle systen ol lood distribution slould naterialize, and wlo
slould take res¡onsibility lor its establislnent and its continued sus-
tenance, were by no neans obvious. Lven tle nost lundanental issues
were yet to be resolved. Vlat kind ol inlrastructure was needed to secure
enougl lood lor all tle inlabitants in tle city· Slould tlis be ¡ublic
or ¡rivate· Vlat were tle a¡¡ro¡riate levels ol control and regulation·
Vlat was sale lood· Vlat lood could be sold in o¡en-air narkets· Vlat
about lood ¡rices· In tle arenas ol ¡olitics, science, lealtl, and business,
tle lood distribution question was acted out.
To understand tle listorical clanges tlat took ¡lace, tle lollowing
cla¡ter will use tle netlodological and analytical conce¡ts ol quality,
rationality, and autlenticity. As discussed ¡reviously, tle tern quality is
¡roblenatic since tle descri¡tive and tle nornative interningle. During
tlis tine ¡eriod, descri¡tive attributes sucl as nutrition value or bacterial
content were natters ol leated debate, reßecting novel scientihc hndings.
2. See lor exan¡le SCC 23}1865, SCC 33}1866, SCC 107}1867, SCC 58}1869, SCC
35}1873 and Hernelin, C. F. S., Torghandeln i städerna.
3. SCC, a¡¡endix 5}1895.
59 dreams of modernity
Vletler or not quality slould be regulated, and in tlat case low, was
also still unsettled and visions ol a legal lranework were o¡¡osed to sell-
regulation. Ve can see tle various debates as a struggle between dillerent
°orders ol wortlº. aestletic, econonic, etlical or lygienic, all ex¡ressing
qualities according to tleir own logic. Vlat as¡ects were given ¡riority,
and low tley were valued, is liglly contextual.
Tle conce¡t ol quality
was enlanced by tle conce¡ts ol rationality and autlenticity, tlenselves
s¡ecihc in tine and s¡ace as well. Tle beginnings ol scientihc nanage-
nent in tle US were only vaguely hltering into tle Swedisl debate ini-
tially, but as tle 1930s a¡¡roacled, rationality noved to tle lore as a
nost valued attribute. Autlenticity during tlis ¡eriod lad nore to do
witl u¡lolding tle urban-rural divisions, giving tle riglt kind ol rural
larner ¡riority over tle urban in¡ostor.
4. Harvey, M., McMeekin, A. & Varde, A., °Conclusion. quality and ¡rocesses ol qual-
ihcationº, In M. Harvey, A. McMeekin & A. Varde (eds.), Qualities of food, ¡. 194-195.
Stockholm on the brink of
Congested city
In 1867, a ¡ro¡osal lor a new narket¡lace on tle square Norra Bantor-
was ¡resented in tle City Council. Tle ¡ro¡osal stated wly tle city
needed to look over its current lood distribution systen. Tle ¡o¡ulation
lad increased. Tle nunber ol loodstulls tlat entered tle city lad also
increased witl tle new railroad trans¡orts. A new narket¡lace would en-
courage direct trade wlere larners could sell tleir goods to eager towns-
¡eo¡le. Tlere were nany benehts in tlis, lor city dwellers and larners
alike. A nore direct trade witl tle larners would at once guarantee lower
¡rices and lresler ¡roduce, wlicl would be liglly benehcial, es¡ecially
lor tle ¡oor. Tle larners would encounter a ready narket and tlus be
induced to bring tleir goods to Stockloln ratler tlan elsewlere. It was
tle city`s res¡onsibility to ¡rocure a ¡oint ol sale tlat would neet tle de-
nands ol botl towns¡eo¡le and larners.
Tlis ¡osition reveals a concern
over tle lood trade and its organization. Tle real, autlentic larner was
¡resented as a guarantee lor lreslness and, ultinately, quality.
1. Tle nane Norra Bantorget relers to its location by tle Nortlern railway station.
2. SCC 107}1867.
chapter 4 62
Tle autlor ol tlis ¡ro¡osal was tle Agricultural Society ol Stockloln.
Tley asserted tlat a new narket¡lace was badly needed, not only because
tle current outlets were congested, but also because larners wanted one
¡lace to dis¡ose ol all tleir goods and not be obliged to hnd ways ol
trans¡orting tlenselves and tleir goods to various o¡en-air narkets lar
lron tle railway station. Prelerably, tle city slould ¡rovide covered nar-
kets, also known as narket lalls. Tle agricultural society also endorsed
tle idea to add side tracks lron tle railways, wlicl would lacilitate tle
unloading ol tle larn ¡roduce arriving by train. It was ol utnost in¡or-
tance tlat tle size ol tlis new narket¡lace would be naterially larger
tlan tle Hotorget narket¡lace, wlicl was by lar too congested.
everyone agreed witl tlis descri¡tion ol tle situation. Tlere were objec-
tions tlat tle ¡ro¡osal was ex¡ensive and tlat tlere were no guarantees
tlat a narket¡lace twice tle size ol Hotorget was actually necessary.

Tle suggestion ol a new narket¡lace at Norra Bantorget was enblen-
atic ol tle discussions in tle Stockloln City Council lor years to cone,
and tley continued witl certain variations and additional suggestions.
Tle nain tlenes renained. tle congested narket¡laces and tle lear tlat
tle larners would not bring tleir ¡roducts directly to tle city and instead
rely on niddlenen. Lven worse, tlere was a lear tlat tle larners would
ex¡ort tle lood away, leaving tle city barren and con¡letely at tle nercy
ol niddle nen. Vlat was being ¡layed out lere was ¡rinarily a concern
over attracting tle autlentic, lonest larners witl tleir untainted quality
¡roducts, but it also reßected a concern lor o¡tinizing tle distribution
to kee¡ tle ¡rices down and tlus satisly tle consuning ¡ublic.
Tle res¡onse ol tle City Council was also ty¡ical. tlere were always
tlose wlo ¡ointed to tle uncertain outcones ol every najor investnent
and wlo ¡relerred inaction, wlicl at any rate was clea¡. It also tallied
well witl tle laissez-laire ideology ol leaving everytling to tle narket
tlat was ¡art ol tle olhcial discourse. However, tle laissez-laire a¡¡roacl
was never lully ¡ursued. In ¡ractice, tle city`s engagenent and res¡on-
sibilities continually increased, as did tle acce¡tance tlat tle city lad
a res¡onsibility lor tle well-being ol its inlabitants, and tlat tle best
way ol ensuring tlis was tlrougl regulations and control. A regulatory
lranework could not cone into ¡lace witlout dehning tle borders ol
wlat constituted tle linits ol quality.
Tle desire to construct a bigger and nore rational narket¡lace was
connected to tle severe con¡etition lor s¡ace at tle Stockloln squares.
3. Hotorget literally neans tle Haynarket, and was one ol tle old narket¡laces in
Stockloln. Tle nane Hotorget actually dates back to tle 1640s.
4. SCC 107}1867.
stockholm on the brink of modernity 63
Tle old city center, tle Old Town, lad no nore roon to ex¡and. tle ex-
isting s¡ace on enbanknents and squares was insulhcient to acconno-
date all tle vendors and custoners. Hotorget, anotler well-establisled
narket¡lace in Stockloln, was also ¡lagued by congestion. New nar-
ket¡laces were discussed and various locations suggested. Tle waterways
lad litlerto been tle nost in¡ortant neans ol trans¡orting lood to
tle city, but tle railway was continually gaining in in¡ortance. Tle Old
Town re¡resented tle core ol tlis water-centered lood systen, witl tle
squares Kornlannstorg and Malartorget as its nodal ¡oints. However,
none ol tlese narket¡laces lad direct access to tle railway, and tle rail-
way was seen as tle luture. Tle luture street systen, in lact, ouglt to be
ada¡ted to tle railway, argued tle ex¡erts en¡loyed by tle City Council.

Tlis was a new way ol conceiving a rational lood trade and ¡lanning lor
tle luture.
New narket¡laces in ¡roxinity to tle railway stations tlus a¡¡eared
as a nost convenient and nodern way ol city ¡lanning. For tle nortlern
¡art ol Stockloln, Norra Bantorget was tlus ¡resented as an o¡tinal
For tle soutlern ¡art ol tle city, tle ¡lace lavored was tle square
adjacent to tle soutlern railway station, Sodra Bantorget. Tle ¡o¡ula-
tion ol tle soutlern ¡art ol Stockloln lad risen to 40,000 inlabitants,
and its geogra¡lical ¡osition on a lilly island neant tlat its inlabitants
needed a narket¡lace ol tleir own as tle city ex¡anded lurtler. A narket-
¡lace was vital and its location lad to be closen witl care, es¡ecially since
it niglt be tlere lor centuries, as tle City Council carelully ¡ointed out.

Tle narket¡laces still renained at tle center ol attention wlen a new
lood distribution systen was to be conceived. But a natter ol sucl weiglt
connanded serious consideration, and it was lard to select a ¡lace tlat
would be acce¡ted unaninously.
Tle suggestions ol tle new narket¡laces net witl sone ske¡ticisn.
One ol tle nenbers ol tle City Council tlouglt tle ¡rice ol tle site at
Sodra Bantorget was too ligl. Also, it was in¡ossible to know low nucl
ol tle goods tlat cane by tle nain road would end u¡ at tle new narket-
¡lace ol Sodra Bantorget. It was liglly in¡robable tlat tle sellers con-
ing by tle nain road would wisl to sto¡ at tle new narket¡lace, seeing
low reluctant tley were to sell anytling at tle existing narket¡lace ol
Adoll Fredriks torg,
¡relerring instead to sell tleir goods at tle crowded
5. SCC, 33}1866.
6. SCC, 33}1866.
7. SCC, 58}1865.
8. Adoll Fredrikstorg was renaned Mariatorget in 1959, even il tle issue ol clanging
nanes was hrst nentioned in 1923.
chapter 4 64
narkets ol tle Old Town. He also ¡ointed out tlat tle residents ol tle
soutlern ¡art ol Stockloln lad already closen tleir narket¡laces. nost
went to tle narkets in tle Old Town. Vletler tley or tle sellers would
clange tleir labits renained o¡en to doubt.

Governing tle consuning ¡ublic was a delicate natter. Sin¡ly ¡ro-
viding sone inlrastructure would not be enougl to assure success. Norra
Bantorget never turned out tle way it was lo¡ed. Tle called lor exten-
sions were never carried out. Tle City Council lound tle investnents
to be too great, and des¡ite lengtly discussions tlat continued into tle
Swedisl Parlianent, tle result was lar lron tle grand new square envi-
sioned by Albert Lindlagen, tle inßuential city ¡lanner, or Gillis Bildt,
tle governor ol Stockloln.

Sodra Bantorget was lardly nore successlul. Tle lood trade renained
on a snall scale and vanisled entirely in tle 1930s to give ¡lace to tle
nonunental House ol tle Citizens (Medborgarluset). Perla¡s it is un-
lair to judge tle lailed atten¡ts at organizing tle lood trade around tle
two railway stations. Tle hrst square renained snall and lad too close
¡roxinity to an establisled narket¡lace, Hotorget. Tle second railway
station itsell never took on tle ex¡ected in¡ortance since subsequent
extensions ol tle railway connecting tle soutlern and central stations
dininisled tle in¡ortance ol tle soutlern railway station. Vlat tlese
exan¡les slow is tlat neitler tle City Council nor ¡rivate enter¡rise en-
braced tle intended connercial s¡ace. Tley ¡rovided neitler tle inlra-
structure nor tle activity necessary to turn tle railway station squares
into bustling narket¡laces. Vlat lad been ¡resented as a su¡renely ra-
tional and nodern way ol ¡lanning lor lood inlrastructure, intended to
secure a lood su¡¡ly ol quality and quantity, cane to nauglt.
To see low Stockloln las develo¡ed geogra¡lically and extended its
territory during tle ¡eriod described, see Villian Villian-Olsson`s clas-
sic na¡s lron 1850, 1865, 1880, 1895, 1910 and 1930 on tle lollowing

Shaping the market
Vlat sla¡e and design tle new narket¡laces ouglt to take was anotler
natter ol debate. As we saw above, tle agricultural society in tle county
ol Stockloln advocated covered narkets, or narket lalls, to acconno-
date larners and ¡rotect tlen and tleir ¡roduce. In 1868, C G Hierta,
9. SCC, 58}1865.
10. Nordin, C., Oordning: torghandel i Stockholm 1540-1918, ¡. 184-185.
11. Villian-Olsson, V., Huvuddragen av Stockholms geografiska utveckling 1850-1930.
stockholm on the brink of modernity 65
an estate owner, suggested to tle Stockloln City Council tlat a narket
lall ouglt to be constructed in Stockloln. Most otler Luro¡ean cities
lad narket lalls, and tlere was no reason tle Swedisl ca¡ital slould do
less tlan tle large cities ol Luro¡e. Il notling else, tle larsl clinate in
Stockloln nade it unavoidable. Mr. Hierta argued tlat tle advantages
ol narket lalls were widely known, it was only a question ol wlo slould
undertake tle construction, ¡rivate entre¡reneurs or tle City itsell.
narket lall was ¡resented as a rational way ol ¡reserving and attracting
12. SCC, 58}1869.
4.1 Population in Stockholm, 1850. Every dot represents 25 persons.
William William-Olsson, Stockholms stadsmuseum.
chapter 4 66
quality, but also as a way to guarantee tlat tle autlentic larners would
bring tleir wlolesone ¡roduce to tle ca¡ital.
Hierta declared tlat tle best would be lor tle City to assune res¡onsi-
bility. According to tle cost estinate in Hierta`s ¡ro¡osal, tle City would
actually beneht econonically lron tle construction ol a narket lall as
tle revenues lron tle stall lolders would largely cover tle construction
costs witlin a slort ¡eriod ol tine. Tlere would be sixty-eiglt stalls, eacl
witl its own water ta¡, wasl basin, and water clute to ¡ronote cleanli-
ness in tle interest ol good lealtl and civic rectitude. Il tle City declined,
¡rivate entre¡reneurs were bound to go in to rea¡ tle benehts ol tlis
¡ronising business venture. Tle nenbers ol tle City Council were not
convinced, lowever, and reconnended a rejection ol tle ¡ro¡osal.

A ¡rivate entre¡reneur did turn u¡ and ¡ro¡osed to build narket lalls
on suitable ¡ublic lots in return lor tle ¡ernission to collect revenues
lron tle stall lolders, to cover tle construction costs and tle nainte-
nance. Tlis suggestion ¡rovoked a debate in tle City Council over wletl-
er tle City slould grant tle use ol ¡ublic lots to ¡rivate entre¡reneurs, il
tleir intent was to serve tle ¡ublic witl lacilities sucl as a narket lall.
Tle City Finance Connittee was set against tle ¡ro¡osal. Il any build-
ing was to be connissioned, tle City slould build and collect revenues
itsell. Tle City Council did decide tlat ¡rivate enter¡rise slould not be
allowed to build on ¡ublic lots, es¡ecially not sucl valuable lots as tle
ones suggested lor tle construction ol narket lalls. It also o¡ted lor tle
construction ol a test lall, belore any systen ol narket lalls could be

In tle end, tle City decided to build a sin¡le lreestanding sled witl
iron ¡oles and tin rool and no hxed walls. It contained sixty-lour stalls
and would nainly sell neat. Tle selected location was Kottorget, wlicl
literally neans tle Meat Square, and it was in riglt in tle niddle ol tle
busiest connerce zone on tle enbanknent ol tle Old Town, wlere nost
ol tle trade was taking ¡lace.
Tle City Council lad o¡ted lor ¡rudence
ratler tlan a lull-scale narket lall systen. It was botl saler and clea¡er
tlan engaging in uncertain business ventures witl tle tax¡ayers` noney.
Tlis outlook on tle role ol tle City in low tle lood trade slould be
organized reßects tle uncertainty surrounding botl wlat tle role ol tle
City itsell slould be and ol wlat constituted a well-organized and well-
lunctioning lood trade. In a sense tlis can be inter¡reted as reßecting
13. SCC, 58}1869.
14. SCC, 35}1873.
15. SCC, 35}1873.
stockholm on the brink of modernity 67
a general uncertainty on tle level ol wlat could be said to constitute a
rational lood trade, as well as wlat a good lood trade entailed.
Tle construction ol tle test narket lall Kottorget, wlicl was inau-
gurated in 1875, did not solve tle ¡roblens ol congestion or satisly tle
con¡laints voiced by tle Stockloln agricultural society. Tle nost ¡o¡u-
lar narket¡laces in tle Old Town and on Hotorget continued to attract
tle biggest crowds, and tlere seened to be no end to tle inßux ol buyers
and sellers. To build sonetling at tle crowded narket¡laces in tle Old
Town neant tlat ¡art ol tle trade would lave to nove elsewlere.
4.2 Population in Stockholm, 1865. Every dot represents 25 persons.
William William-Olsson, Stockholms stadsmuseum.
chapter 4 68
Tle construction ol tle narket lall on Kottorget ¡usled away tle
larners coning by steanboat, wlo lad been granted exclusive access to
tlis s¡ace in 1870.
A ¡etition lron tle steanboat ca¡tains ¡leaded tlat
tle City Council revise its ¡lans and build tle narket sled at tle neigl-
boring square Malartorget. Otlerwise tle larners would be obliged to
add tle ex¡ense ol trans¡ortation to tle ¡rice ol tleir ¡roduce, wlicl
would certainly not beneht tle consuning ¡ublic.
Tle hglt lor s¡ace in
wlat was judged as tle nost advantageous business site continued over
tle years to cone. In tlis s¡atial battle, dehnitions ol wlat was an lonest
trade, wlo slould be allowed to use tle coveted s¡ace, and wletler trade
slould be in tle o¡en-air or in covered narkets, accrued in in¡ortance.
Here questions ol autlenticity and rationality as well as ultinately qual-
ity, were used as argunents lor and against various regulations, de¡end-
ing on tle ¡osition ol tle interested ¡arties.
One ol tle nost visible and debated as¡ects ol tle lood trade was tle
¡ractice ol selling live cattle. Tle livestock trade largely contributed to
tle noise and ¡ollution ol tle existing narket¡laces, es¡ecially Hotorget,
wlere tle trade was nost intense. Already in tle 1860s, wlen tle narket
issue and tle congested narket¡laces were hrst under debate, tle trade
in livestock was targeted as ¡articularly troublesone. Selling live cattle in
tle o¡en-air was cruel to tle aninals, wlo lad to suller wind and weatl-
er. Also, tle aninals were tired and stressed lron tle journey to tle city
and were tlus not in good condition, wlicl neant tlat tley were sold at
a loss to tle larner. Moreover, tle aninals disturbed tle neiglbors and
¡olluted tle narket¡laces. Better tlen to lide and ¡rotect tle aninals in
narket sleds, argued tle Stockloln agricultural society. Tle City Coun-
cil ¡ointed out tlat it was nainly butclers wlo bouglt livestock, and
tlat tle City Council ¡relerred to build narket lalls lor tle street lawk-
ers wlo catered to tle ¡ublic. Tle ¡ublic was dehned as individual louse-
lolds, wlon tle City slould ¡rotect, wlereas tle butclers qualihed as
¡rivate enter¡rises, wlo slould lend lor tlenselves.

Ten years later, tle najority ol tle trade in livestock continued at Ho-
torget, des¡ite tle ellorts to nove it to Norra Bantorget. At Sodra Ban-
torget, near tle Soutlern railway station, a narket sled lor live cattle lad
been ¡ut u¡ witlout success.
To alter tle labits ol buyers and sellers
and nove tle trade, nore ¡owerlul neans ol control or nore con¡el-
ling incentives lad to be ¡ut in ¡lace. Tle narket issue lad to gain nore
16. SCC, a¡¡endix 29}1880.
17. SCC, 66}1874.
18. SCC, 24}1866.
19. SCC, 90}1876.
stockholm on the brink of modernity 69
¡owerlul caclet. Here tle concern over tle urban claracter, or ratler tle
lack ol urbanity, ol Stockloln as a ¡otential world city contributed to
¡utting it on tle agenda.
Transcending the provincial character
In 1878, Baron Hernelin wrote an indignant contribution to tle debate
on tle narket lall issue. Tle situation in Stockloln was con¡ared to
Paris and its beautilul Halles, nucl to tle detrinent ol Stockloln. Tle
extrene cost increases in tle Swedisl ca¡ital over tle ¡ast ten years were
4.3 Population in Stockholm, 1880. Every dot represents 25 persons.
William William-Olsson, Stockholms stadsmuseum.
chapter 4 70
attributed to tle lack ol a colerent narket systen.
In Paris everytling
was nodern and well-organized. Tle construction in iron and glass was
wortl all adniration. As an exan¡le ol nodern elegance, Hernelin nen-
tioned hsl swinning in basins witl continuously running water.

Tle lalls were equi¡¡ed witl gigantic storage cellars, wlere lood
cane lron railway tracks lron all tle najor stations in Paris. Tlis systen
relieved tle tralhc situation and lowered tle distribution costs. Tle dis-
tribution systen was described in detail. First tle garden ¡roduce arrived.
It was quickly unloaded, ins¡ected and resold by connissionaires. Tle
noise level was intense, due to all tle ¡eo¡le, tle lorses, donkeys, ducks,
geese, lens and ¡igeons, but order was still naintained by tle lorty ¡olice
agents, and tle trade was elhcient and ra¡id. Tlis well-organized systen
attracted goods lron all ol France and even lron Luro¡e.

Tle elegance and tle neatness ol tle lalls were ¡articularly adnired.
Tle gas liglting and tle water consun¡tion were signs ol nodern no-
tions ol cleanliness. Public lealtl ins¡ectors surveyed all tle lood belore
it was ollered lor sale. Hernelin also cited tle exan¡le ol tle sale ol eggs,
wlicl en¡loyed lorty-eiglt ¡eo¡le, and low tley sorted tle eggs accord-
ing to quality. Tle nost exclusive eggs were even sold witl caclet and
tle date tle eggs were laid. Tle saleswonen were con¡linented lor tleir
noble nanners and tleir clarning a¡¡earance. Tle ¡orters lad elegant
velvet coats and lats. all ol wlicl ins¡ired tle nost vivid adniration.

Tle narket systen ol Paris consisted ol tle central narket lalls and
ol hlty-seven covered narkets around town. It en¡loyed 30,000 ¡eo¡le
and still generated a sur¡lus, Hernelin re¡orted. Tle anbulatory trade
in Paris was also under control ol tle ¡ublic lealtl ins¡ectors. A nost
satislactory systen, le concluded. Brussels, Vienna, and Berlin are otler
exan¡les ol cities wlere tle trade lad been organized in an orderly nan-

Tle con¡arison between Stockloln and Paris can be inter¡reted botl
as a way ol dehning quality and as a way ol dehning rationality. Tle entire
descri¡tion by Baron Hernelin locused on tle rationality ol tle Parisian
systen, and its excellent quality lood. Quality in tlis sense was attrib-
uted to tle aestletic values ol tle arclitecture, tle organization, and tle
anbience ol tle Halles. Certain s¡ecihc attributes were also brouglt lor-
ward to underline tle su¡eriority ol tle Parisian way, sucl as tle exan¡le
20. Hernelin, C. F. S., Torghandeln i städerna, ¡. 1-5.
21. Hernelin, C. F. S., Torghandeln i städerna, ¡. 10.
22. Hernelin, C. F. S., Torghandeln i städerna, ¡. 10-15.
23. Hernelin, C. F. S., Torghandeln i städerna, ¡. 11-15.
24. Hernelin, C. F. S., Torghandeln i städerna, ¡. 21-22 and 27-32.
stockholm on the brink of modernity 71
ol assigning caclet to tle eggs. Here quality was dehned nore lron tle
gustatory and lygienic ¡oint ol view. Tle organization and tle nodern
equi¡nent ol tle Halles, sucl as railway trans¡ort underground, were
taken as enblenatic ol tle rationality and nodernity ol cosno¡olitan
Paris. Lven tle neatness ol tle ¡orters` unilorns was taken as testinony
ol tle rationality and quality ol tle Frencl lood systen.
Tle state ol tle Stockloln narkets was de¡lorable. Hernelin de-
scribed a vistit to Hotorget in Novenber 1877. Tle nilk was standing
in tle black nud on tle ¡avenent, being diluted by tle rain as tle nilk
naids avoided ¡utting tle lids back on. Next to tle nilk, swine carcasses
4.4 Population in Stockholm, 1895. Every dot represents 25 persons.
William William-Olsson, Stockholms stadsmuseum.
chapter 4 72
were dis¡layed on tle ground itsell, sonetines ¡rotected by old car¡ets
or rags, hltly kitclen towels, or old lorse blankets. Tle neat lad cone
by railway and lad to be trans¡orted to Hotorget, wlicl ex¡lained wly
tle seller lad no cart on wlicl to dis¡lay tle neat.
On tle soutlern
¡art ol tle narket¡lace, tle level ol hltl was rising u¡ above tle ankles.
Tle narket stalls tlere lad tent rools tlat s¡lasled tle custoners witl
rain water. Tle candles used lor liglting were insulhcient, tle ground
covered witl debris neant tlat tle custoners risked tri¡¡ing and lalling
over. Meat was cut u¡ on dirty old clo¡¡ing blocks wlere tle neat olten
lell to tle ground. Lntrails, eyes, blood, and lides were scattered around
tle neat sellers.

Tle newly constructed narket lall at Kottorget was deened too snall,
and only sone ol tle vendors observed tle neatness and tidiness Herne-
lin associated witl a ¡ro¡er narket lall.
Tle Stockloln narket lalls
lacked quality and rationality, and consequently tle quality ol tle lood
was called into question. Tle city itsell would also suller lron tle associ-
ation. a city witl sucl objectionable organization ol its lood trade could
only be ex¡ected to lail otler areas as well. Tlis sentinent was slared by
nany ol tle nenbers ol tle City Council, and tle ¡ossibility ol building
a lull-scale narket lall systen to res¡ond to tle increasing ¡ressure on
tle lood distribution ol Stockloln gained nonentun.
By tle 1880s, tle lood distribution situation lad indeed not in-
¡roved. tle narket lall at Kottorget was insulhcient, and lurtlernore
its construction lad created claos wlen tle trade in larners` ¡roduce
coning by stean boat lad been assigned to a snall enbanknent. And
tle congestion was steadily increasing as hlteen nore steanboats were
granted ¡ernission coning to narket at tle Munkbron enbanknent.
To solve tlis ¡redicanent, tle Olhce ol tle Governor ol Stockloln sug-
gested a new narket lall at tle nearby narket¡lace ol Malartorget. Tlen
Kottorget could be reserved lor tle larners` narket yet again. But tle Fi-
nance Connittee ol Stockloln ¡relerred to concentrate on one narket
lall at tle tine, and reconnended not to ¡ursue tle venture.

Since Kottorget narket lall lad been an econonic success, tle City
Council lad decided to build anotler narket lall at tle coveted Hotorget
narket¡lace. Tlat sellers and buyers were in tle labit ol going to narket
tlere was undeniable, but tle new building neant less selling s¡ace. It
was going to be a nore anbitious and nore luxurious lall tlan tle hrst
25. Hernelin, C. F. S., Torghandeln i städerna, ¡. 34-37.
26. Hernelin, C. F. S., Torghandeln i städerna, ¡. 39-44.
27. Hernelin, C. F. S., Torghandeln i städerna, ¡. 53-54.
28. SCC, a¡¡endix 29}1880.
stockholm on the brink of modernity 73
one at Kottorget. Tle new lall could acconnodate 132 stalllolders, lad
individual cellars, gas liglting, as¡lalt ßooring, and counterto¡s ol oak
or narble. Tle construction was described as a niniature version ol tle
Parisian Halles, wlicl ins¡ired botl ¡raise and criticisn. All tle vendors
wlo lost tleir ¡laces due to tle construction were ollered a stall in tle
new narket lall. Twenty-lour well-known vendors witl a wide clientele
acce¡ted tle oller and noved in. Still, 173 vendors noved to tle Norra
4.5 Population in Stockholm, 1910. Every dot represents 25 persons.
William William-Olsson, Stockholms stadsmuseum.
chapter 4 74
Bantorget narket¡lace. Tle lall was o¡ened October 2, 1882 witlout any
olhcial cerenony.

Tle Stockloln agricultural society continued to ¡ress lor narket
sleds and lalls to acconnodate tle larners and lacilitate tle trade be-
tween larners and city dwellers. Norra Bantorget would be nucl nore
attractive witl sucl a covered narket, and it was also in dire need ol ¡ro¡-
er ¡avenent. To su¡¡ort tleir argunent, tle Agricultural Society lraned
tleir con¡laints in terns ol °indirect taxationº ol country and city lolk
alike. At tlat tine, larners coning by rail were obliged to ¡ay lor trans-
¡ortation to narket¡laces lar away lron tle railway station. Sonetines,
tle ¡rolibitive trans¡ortion lees lorced tlen to sell on connission to
niddlenen instead. Tle lees and extra ex¡enses tle larners lad to ¡ay
naturally allected tle ¡rice ol lood lor tle city dweller and it was in tlis
sense it could be considered an indirect taxation. Tlis ex¡lained tle stag-
gering lood ¡rices ol tle ca¡ital, clained tle agricultural society.
agricultural society used tle hgure ol tle autlentic larner as a guarantor
lor rational trade witl quality ¡roducts. Tle ¡roxinity and tle lreslness
ol tle ¡roduce was to be ¡rotected by ¡roviding covered narkets, wlicl
were tlus ¡resented as tle nost rational and elhcient way ol organizing
tle lood trade.
In 1882, tle City Council did eventually ¡rovide a narket sled on
Norra Bantorget. Tlree years later tle sled was converted to anotler use.
Tle lees clarged tle hrst year were subsequently renoved to induce tle
larners to use tle sled wlicl tle agricultural society lad requested witl
sucl insistence.
But tle lure ol tle Hotorget narket¡lace was a¡¡ar-
ently too strong. Tle lood trade on Norra Bantorget instead took a diller-
ent turn. 80 illegal narket sleds covered tle square, lorning a niniature
town ol its own witl bakers, butclers, sloenakers, latters, cigarstores,
glassware, ¡ottery, clinaware, as well as calés and restaurants. Tle il-
legal slanty town attracted tle attention ol tle City auditors and was
denolisled in 1893. Alter tlis, all trade seens to lave vanisled accord-
ing to Nordin.
Tle unintended consequences ol tle decisions taken by
tle ¡ublic autlorities and tle ¡oliticians ¡aved tle way lor tle develo¡-
nent ol Norra Bantorget. Instead ol tle rational, elhcient lood center
¡ronoting direct trade between autlentic larners and urban consuners,
29. Silversson, A-B., ºHandeln ¡a Hotorget under 1800-taletº, Samfundet S:t Eriks års-
bok. 1962, ¡. 90, SCC, a¡¡endix 29}1880, Nordin, C., Oordning, ¡. 201-202.
30. SCC, a¡¡endix 53}1881.
31. SCC, 158}1885.
32. SCC, a¡¡endix 5}1895, Nordin, C., Oordning, ¡. 184-185.
stockholm on the brink of modernity 75
tle s¡ace was used in a dillerent way by urban entre¡reneurs eking out a
living in an unloreseen way.
By tle 1880s, Stockloln lad ex¡anded lurtler and new districts
called lor city ¡lanning and inlrastructure. Lxisting districts tlat lad
retained a rural claracter as¡ired to assune a nore urban quality. A¡-
¡eals lor covered narkets and narket¡laces were consistently nade as
tle new districts took lorn. Tle s¡ace lor narket¡laces con¡eted witl
tle desire lor ¡arks, anotler distinguisling leature ol a nodern city.
33. SCC, 197}1884, SCC 253}1884, SCC 54}1886, SCC 141}1886, SCC 168}1886.
4.6 Population in Stockholm, 1930. Every dot represents 25 persons.
William William-Olsson, Stockholms stadsmuseum.
chapter 4 76
tle district ol Kungslolnen, tle residents louglt to lave tobacco helds
renoved, botl witl relerence to tle need lor ¡arks, covered narkets, and
Tlese ¡leas were ignored. Fields and cultivation near tle
city center did disa¡¡ear as tle value ol tle land gradually notivated
nore ¡rohtable use. Market lalls were not necessarily anong tle new
lucrative helds ol a¡¡lication.
Still, hve ¡rivate narket lalls were constructed during tle 1880s and
1890s. Tle hrst, wlicl o¡ened in 1881, lad to close tle sane year. It only
contained six stalls, and lurtlernore botl tle tining and tle location
were ill closen. in 1881 tle neiglborlood around Observatoriegatan was
not very alßuent and tle vibrant Hotorget narket¡lace was only a cou-
¡le ol blocks away. Not even a decade later, tle situation was con¡letely
dillerent lor anotler ¡rivate narket lall wlicl o¡ened just around tle
corner lron tle aborted one on Observatoriegatan. Tle Vasa narket lall
was situated in between Norrtullsgatan 5 and Vegagatan 4 and contained
28 stalls. Tle clientele wlo catered to tlis narket lall was well-oll and
¡relerred not to go to tle nearby Hotorget.
Tle Vasa narket lall lad
alnost hve tines as nany stalls, but tle altered claracter ol tle neiglbor-
lood attributed to its success. It niglt also reßect a dillerent a¡¡roacl
to location. ¡roxinity lad a value ol its own. Tle Vasa narket lall was
described by a journalist in 1902 as a nost original and clarning lall,
so tle anbience and allure ol quality created by tle vendors could also
ex¡lain wly tlis venture lad better results tlan its ¡redecessor on Obser-

Tle nost s¡ectacular and tle nost successlul ¡rivate initiative was
tle still-existing Östernaln narket lall. Built in a lew nontls and in-
augurated tle 30tl ol Novenber 1888 by King Oscar II and Prince Carl,
it attracted a lot ol attention lron tle start. Nevertleless, its success was
not absolute. Tle vendors at tle narket¡lace outside tle lall were reluc-
tant to leave tleir inex¡ensive ¡laces lor tle costly and luxurious stalls
inside. Tle lall was leated, lad electric liglt, lot and cold water, and
good ventilation. Tle stalls were ¡ainted in red and blue and lad an al-
nost tleatrical quality. Arclitecturally tle lall was interesting. it used
nodern naterials sucl as cenent, and nodern building teclniques witl
cast iron structures, but tle style was ins¡ired botl by tle nedieval brick
34. SCC, 152}1888, SCC 62}1869, SCC 73}1889, SCC 127}1891, SCC a¡¡endix
35. Clristina Nordin, wlo las nade an extensive inquiry into tle Stockloln narket
lalls, believes tle Vasa narket lall ¡robably renained in service until 1954. In 1965
tle louse was denolisled. See Nordin, C., Oordning, ¡. 203, 209.
36. Nordin, C., Oordning, ¡. 203.
stockholm on the brink of modernity 77
buildings and tle arcade structures connon in tle Mediterrenean. Tlis
was ty¡ical ol tle arclitects Kas¡er Salin and Gustal Clason.
Tle Ös-
ternaln narket lall as¡ired to joining ¡rinarily aestletic and lygienic
values to signal quality. Tlis was by itsell not enougl to guarantee eco-
nonic success.
Tle Svea narket lall was constructed in 1889, a year alter tle Ös-
ternaln narket lall. Built witl two ßoors ornated by a cou¡le ol snall
towers, and lad 46 stalls, witl cellars and water and gas in tle aisles. Like
Östernaln, it lad stores lacing tle street outside. It was located a cou-
¡le ol blocks away lron tle successlul Vasa narket lall, by a street tlat
would later becone one ol tle nain boulevards in Stockloln, Sveava-
Six years alter its inauguration it was sold on auction under a writ
ol execution. Alnost twenty years later, tle City Council was ollered to
buy tle narket lall in 1914. Tle City Council declined since tle cost ol
re¡air would be too great, and tle narket lall was ¡robably denolisled
in 1930.
Tlis ¡rivate enter¡rise lailed to survive on its own nerits, and
37. Vistl, B., ºÖsternalnslallen ett rekordbyggeº, In G. Pill & M-L. Telegin (eds.),
Östermalmshallen: mattemplet under ett sekel, ¡. 13-18. Nordin, C., Oordning, ¡. 205-206.
38. At tle tine, tle street was called Stora Badstugatan, and retained a rural clarac-
ter. Still, tle city ¡lan indicated tlat it would becone a najor tlorougllare.
39. Nordin, C., Oordning, ¡. 209.
4.7 Exterior of Östermalms market hall.
Eklunds Ateljé, 1888-1889, Stockholms stadsmuseum.
chapter 4 78
unlike tle Östernaln and Maria narket lalls it was not rescued by tle
City Council. Tine and s¡ace lad ¡assed it by and it could signal neitler
quality, nor rationality. As lor autlenticity, it lad notling to oller. Its
vendors were not larners, and tle aestletic and arclitectural value ol tle
building was not enougl to qualily lor any autlenticity clains eitler.
Tle Maria narket lall was tle hrst on tle island ol Sodernaln. Tle
location was not bad, a cou¡le ol blocks away lron tle Maria narket-
on one ol tle nain arteries, Hornsgatan. It was inaugurated in
October 1899, contained 65 stalls, a calé, a restaurant, hve stores, electric
liglt, and lree lot water lor tle tenants. A journalist wlo investigated tle
narket lalls in Stockloln in 1902 described tle lall as lollows.
In a lew words, tle descri¡tion ol tlis lall can be sunnarized
in tle lollowing, very sad laslion. a narket lall tlat is s¡acious
and well organized, but in sad want ol vendors and consequent-
ly in want ol goods. Tlis is due to tle surroundings ol tle nar-
ket¡lace, wlose vendors lave no desire to nove into tle narket
lall. |.| Tle construction ol tle narket lall las been declared
to be ol sucl excellent quality tlat it las been used as a nodel
lor several otler narket lalls in tle rest ol tle country.

Tlis neant tlat tle ¡ressure on tle existing narket¡laces renained, and
il anytling it increased witl tle constantly increasing street trade. At tle
sane tine, new slo¡s o¡ened all over Stockloln and tle con¡etition
was rutlless. Tle hrst narket lall at Kottorget, wlicl lad o¡ened to-
wards tle end ol an econonic boon, lad still ¡roven to be a lucrative
venture lor tle City. Tle nore elaborate Hotorgslallen, wlicl was inau-
gurated alnost ten years later, was ¡rohtable lor tle City, but not neces-
sarily lor tle stalllolders. Tle econonic rationality ol tle narket lalls
was being clallenged by tle stores. Lven location ¡atterns were beginning
to clange. No longer was it an absolute trutl tlat a central location was
¡aranount. Ratler, ¡roxinity to tle consuner niglt be nore valuable.
Tle situation lor tle vendors at Hotorget narket lall was increas-
ingly dilhcult. Not only tle o¡en-air narket outside tle lall, but also
40. At tlis ¡oint in tine it was called Adoll Fredrikstorg, wlicl was conlusing since
tlere was a clurcl witl tle sane nane located in tle city.
41. ºDenna lall kan i kortlet dehnieras ¡a loljande, nycket sorgliga satt. en nycket
rynlig ocl ¡raktiskt inrattad salulall, son lider brist ¡a lorsaljare ocl saledes alven
¡a varor. Detta lorlallande lar konna sig al lallen grannska¡ till salutorget. Man
lar ingen lust att lanna detta lor att ßytta in i lallen |...| Konstruktionen al |lallen|
u¡¡gilves vara sa god, att den ßera ganger tagits till nonster vid u¡¡lorandet al salu-
lallar i landsorten.º Citation lron Nordin, C., Oordning, ¡. 209, autlor`s translation.
stockholm on the brink of modernity 79
tle nultitude ol new stores o¡ening all over Stockloln, were contrib-
uting to cut-tlroat con¡etition. By 1886, tle stalllolders were already
denanding rent reductions. By tle beginning ol tle 1890s, additional
con¡etition lron tle in¡ressive and ¡rivately owned Östernaln nar-
ket lall lurtler exas¡erated tle stalllolders at Hotorgslallen.
Tle hsl
vendors wanted water basins witl lresl, continuously noving water to
be able to sell live hsl, in order to con¡ete witl tle connerce lron tle
o¡en-air narket, and tle elegance ol Östernaln narket lall.
In tlis
new retail landsca¡e, over-establislnent in tle lood trade went land
in land witl an insulhcient and inelhcient distribution systen and an
ill-dehned regulatory lranework. Bankru¡tcy was connon anong tle
snall lood retailers, but ¡rices were not always low enougl to satisly tle
needs ol tle ¡oorest inlabitants. Tle Stockloln lood narket was tlus
less tlan ¡erlect.
42. SCC, 72}1890.
43. SCC, a¡¡endix 72}1893.
4.8 Interior of Hötorget market hall. Painting
by Lotten Rönquist, 1889. Stockholms stadsmuseum.
chapter 4 80
The Market Committee undertakes an investigation
Tle nenbers ol tle City Council were aware ol tle dilhculties ol tle
urban lood narket. Tle narket lall systen envisaged and connissioned
by tle Olhce ol tle Governor ol Stockloln in 1869 was still not in ¡lace.
In 1888, Lduard Franckel, wlo was a ¡roninent nenber ol tle City
Council, ¡ro¡osed tlat tle City slould build a central narket lall tlat
would be tle core ol tlis nodern lood systen. Tle location Mr. Franckel
lad in nind was tle Old Town, just next to tle existing narket lall Kot-
torget. Tle narket lall would be a two-storied building, witl 52 stalls
on tle ground ßoor, 90 u¡ in tle galleries above, and 20 olhces on tle
to¡ ßoor. Tle elegant and nodern narket lall would re¡lace tle old and
dila¡idated lall, and at once be a sign ol ¡rogress and a solution to tle
unsatislactory lood distribution.
Most ol tle lood su¡¡ly still arrived
by boat and tlis neant tle location in tle Old Town was ¡erlect. In addi-
tion, it was still a lavored s¡ot lor inlabitants lron all ol Stockloln, Mr
Franckel clained.

Tle ¡ro¡osal lor a central narket lall was ty¡ical ol tle tines in sev-
eral ways. Firstly, tle grandeur ol tle building was intended to in¡ress
and to evoke ¡rogress and ¡ower. Secondly, tle selected location reßected
a way ol ¡erceiving tle city itsell. tle center was still tle Old Town, wlile
tle connerce on tle busy narket¡laces and enbanknents were border-
ing on claos, but also bustling witl lile and energy. Il only tlis could
be larnessed and neatly ordered, tle city would ¡ros¡er. To ex¡ect tle
center to be tle nost natural and nost rational ¡lace to locate tle lood
trade was also ty¡ical.
Tle consensus seened to be tlat a nodern central narket lall slould
be constructed, but wlat renained to be solved was wletler tlis slould
be undertaken be tle City itsell or by ¡rivate entre¡reneurs. Mr. Franckel,
wlo believed tle City lad a res¡onsibility lor tle urban lood su¡¡ly in
general and tle lood ¡rices in ¡articular, neant tlat it was nore rational
il tle City assuned res¡onsibility lor tle ¡roject, since tlis would ¡roba-
bly lead to tle lowest ¡rices and tle best quality. A nodern city slould set
tle norn lor tle lood trade. Tle Finance Connittee did not slare Mr.
Franckel`s o¡tinistic view ol tle ¡rohtability ol tle central narket lall
44. Tlis narket lall would be tle nost ex¡ensive in tle listory ol Stockloln. Tle
construction costs would anount to 390,000 SLK, and to buy tle land would cost an
additional 710,000 SLK. Tlese suns could be con¡ared to tle 250,000 SLK granted
lor tle Hotorget narket lall in 1880, see SCC, 64}1880. To notivate tle costs, Mr.
Franckel ¡ointed to tle revenues estinated to generate 89,300 SLK annually.
45. SCC, a¡¡endix 34}1889.
stockholm on the brink of modernity 81
venture. Instead tley ¡ointed to tle lalling revenues ol tle otler narket
lalls, and tle uncertainty ol low tle urban lood systen would evolve.

Tle ¡ro¡osal lor a central narket lall in tle Old Town was re-subnit-
ted over tle lollowing years at regular intervals, and in 1891, a ¡rivate
entre¡reneur even ollered to undertake tle construction, but tle City
Council ¡ost¡oned until Mr. Franckel retracted lis ¡ro¡osal in 1897.

Tle concerns ol Mr Franckel and tle res¡onse ol tle City Council were
enblenatic ol tle way tle Stockloln lood distribution evolved. on tle
one land, concerned citizens denanding relorn, and on tle otler, tle
City Council, always carelul not to s¡end tax¡ayer noney unnecessarily.
It also reßected tle tension between wlat lell under tle res¡onsibility ol
tle connunity at large and wlat ¡rivate enter¡rise slould attend to.
Still, in tle absence ol a nunici¡al narket lall systen witl central
narket lalls, tle congestion at tle narket¡laces was worsening. To re-
s¡ond to tle situation, tle City Council a¡¡ointed a Market Connittee
in 1891. Tle nost urgent reasons lor a Market Connittee were to ad-
dress tle lollowing ¡roblens.
Tle congestion tlat lindered sellers, buyers, and tralhc in gen-
Tle lygienic risks ol selling neat under tle o¡en sky
Tle lack ol narket lalls and tle unsatislactory standards ol tle
lew existing narket lalls
Stockloln residents ¡arading as country ¡eo¡le to avoid taxes
and lees, and as a result lindering tle real larners lron narket-
ing tleir ¡roduce
Anong tle nenbers ol tle Market Connittee were tlose wlo were
clearly in lavor ol nore nunici¡al control, witl nunici¡al narket lalls
and slauglterlouses (like tle city veterinarians Billstron and Kjerrull)
and tlose wlo were ¡rolessed liberals and slunned nunici¡al control
as an attack on lree enter¡rise, ¡relerring to see everytling solved on a
voluntary basis (sucl as tle ¡ublic lealtl ins¡ector Vawrinsky). Anong
tle nenbers was also a nerclant wlo lad a stall in Hotorget narket
lall, Villeln Hansen.
Mr Hansen would later ¡lay an in¡ortant role in
arguing lor stricter rules and nore nunici¡al control ol tle urban lood
46. SCC, a¡¡endix 34}1889.
47. SCC, a¡¡endix 1}1899.
48. SCC, a¡¡endix 5}1895.
chapter 4 82
Four years later, in 1895, tle hnal re¡ort ol tle Market Connittee
was subnitted. Tle re¡ort was lairly tlorougl. Tle Markets Connit-
tee conducted a review ol tle existing trade in tle narket¡laces around
town. To conduct tleir investigation, tley collected several re¡orts, con-
¡laints, and ¡ro¡osals lron interested ¡arties and sent out a question-
naire to otler Luro¡ean towns to see low tley lad solved tle narket
issue. Tle city olhcials in Berlin, Franklurt an Main, Lei¡zig, Municl,
Stuttgart, Vienna, Antwer¡en, and Paris lad all answered a nunber ol
questions about tle trade in o¡en-air narkets versus tle trade in cov-
ered narkets, tle nature ol ¡ernissions lor sale, days and lours lor trade,
lees and revenues lor tle narket trade, il neat sales were allowed in tle
o¡en-air narkets, and il city-dwellers and country-¡eo¡le lad dillerent
Tle work undertaken by tle Market Connittee can be inter-
¡reted as a way ol establisling standards. wlat was desirable, wlat was
In general, tle Market Connittee argued in lavor ol nore rules and
stricter regulations. Tle Market Connittee criticized tle ¡olice lor not
a¡¡lying tle existing narket bye-law to its lull extent. order and cleanli-
ness ol tle narket¡laces slould be nore rigorously enlorced. Lven so, tle
rules and regulation were deened too lax. It was, lor exan¡le, enougl to
re¡ort to tle ¡olice to receive a ¡ernit to narket. Tlis o¡ened tle nar-
ket to all, witl no screening. Tle Market Connittee advised tlat sone
screening ¡rocess slould be in ¡lace, so tlat a ban could be in¡osed
on dislonest vendors selling inlerior goods. Tle ¡roblen was tlat tle
existing narket bye-law and tle regulations ol tle ¡ublic lealtl board
were not in accord. tle stricter rules tlat ¡rolibited tle sale ol injurious
or adulterated loodstulls were rescinded by tle lreedon ol trade.
concerns lor a rational lood trade witl nore rules and regulation could
also be inter¡reted as a new way ol dehning quality and autlenticity. Tle
questions about autlenticity concerned botl tle goods tlenselves and
tle vendors. witl ascertained ¡rovenance and origin, autlenticity could
be granted and in¡licitly also quality.
Tlat tle lax rules led to congestion and claos at tle existing nar-
ket¡laces was a recurrent tlene in tle re¡ort lron tle Market Connit-
tee. One ol tle re¡orts described tle congestion due to tle trade on tle
steanboats below Kottorget. Tlere was a trenendous crowd anxious to
get alold ol tle best goods hrst, naking it dilhcult to unload and trans-
¡ort tle goods at all. Tle situation was nade worse by tle city dwellers
going to tleir sunner louses in tle arcli¡elago, and by tle lact tlat tle
49. SCC, a¡¡endix 5}1895.
50. SCC, a¡¡endix 5}1895.
stockholm on the brink of modernity 83
steanboats also served to trans¡ort livestock. Tle congestion resulted
in wlat tle Market Connittee called 'undesirable trade ¡ractices`. For
exan¡le, untidy vessels and barges were used botl lor storage and sale ol
sensitive loods. Tlis was liglly objectionable, tle nore so as it entailed
tlat tle barges ¡erlorned tle lunctions ol narket¡laces, lree ol clarge.
Tle concern lor tle lygienic as¡ects ol tle lood trade was clearly not
tle only notivation lor tle Market Connittee, as hnancial and regula-
tory issues were also liglly ¡rioritized in tle debate on tle design ol tle
luture narket¡laces.
Again we see low tle notions ol quality and ratio-
nality are acted out. to organize and control tle lood trade was essential
in tle eyes ol tle Market Connittee. However, exactly low to do so was
still a natter ol debate.
Tlere was one question on wlicl tle Market Connittee was ada-
nant. anbulatory trade slould be banned altogetler, as it inevitably
led to claos and disorder. Tle anbulatory trade was associated witl tle
o¡en-air narkets and its lucksters. Tle lenale vendors in ¡articular were
¡ortrayed as disturbing elenents. dehant and cantankerous, tley relused
to nake anends, not res¡onding to lriendly re¡rinands, nor slar¡ ad-
nonitions or even hnancial ¡enalties lron tle ¡olice. Abuse, loud bicker-
ing and hglts were connon, according to tle Market Connittee.
¡o¡ular culture and tle new bourgeois urban culture were clasling in tle
narket¡lace issue. In tle lace ol tle rouglness ol tle o¡en-air narkets,
tle narket lall was seen as ¡art ol a nore orderly urban landsca¡e, wlere
bourgeois wonen could nove lreely. Tle notions ol quality advocated
by tle u¡¡er niddle-classes dehned tle street vendors as antitletical not
only to quality, but also to rationality and autlenticity.
Tle narket connittee also addressed tle ¡ro¡osal lor a central nar-
ket lall in tle Old Town wlicl lad been under discussion since tle late
1880s. Tle Market Connittee was in lavor ol a nodern central narket
lall, and tle location in tle leart ol tle city a¡¡ealed to tle connittee,
wlo did not take notice ol tle lalling revenues at tle existing narket
lalls. Tle connittee was also in lavor ol re¡lacing tle old, ¡rinitive, and
rundown hrst narket lall in tle Old Town, Kottorget. An alternative to
tearing it down was to ¡ut it at tle dis¡osal ol larners. Tle Market Con-
nittee was in lavor ol attracting wlat tley dehned as autlentic larners,
as o¡¡osed to towns¡eo¡le sin¡ly ¡arading as larners. True direct trade
between autlentic larners and urban consuners would beneht tle ¡oor-
est inlabitants, lor wlon tle City lad a res¡onsibility.
Tle distinction
51. SCC, a¡¡endix 5}1895.
52. SCC, a¡¡endix 5}1895.
53. SCC, a¡¡endix 5}1895.
chapter 4 84
between autlentic and lake larners stenned lron tle regulations tlat
gave real larners tle advantage ol selling lree ol clarge, wlereas city ¡eo-
¡le lad to ¡ay a lee lor going to narket. It also reßects an idyllic notion ol
tle genuine yeonan nucl in vogue during tle national ronantic era ol
tle late nineteentl century.
As real narket lalls were ex¡ensive, tle connittee lad asked arclitect
Vicknan to design and estinate costs lor narket sleds at Kornlann-
storg, Malartorget, Kungslolnstorg, Roslagstorg, Nybrolannen, Norra
Bantorget, Adoll Fredriks torg, Sodra Bantorget, and ¡ossibly by Nytor-
get, il tle existing narket sled tlere would not be sulhcient.
Tle Stock-
loln Agricultural Society lad been asking lor narket sleds or lalls lor
a long tine as a way ol ¡ronoting direct trade between larners and con-
suners. Tle direct trade and tle autlentic larner were celebrated as tle
liglest lorn ol quality by tlis tine. Tlis lorn ol trade was at tle tine
ol tle re¡ort classihed as tle nost rational, as no niddlenan was tlere
to rea¡ tle ¡rohts ol tle lard work ol tle ¡roducers and tle consuner
would beneht lully lron lower ¡rices and lresler goods.
Nonetleless, tle nost tangible result ol tlis anbitious olhcial re¡ort
was tle relorned narket trade clarter ol 1897. Tlis ¡ut a ban on neat
sales in tle o¡en-air narkets. But tle lull-scale narket lall systen, wlicl
tle Governor ol Stockloln lad asked lor in 1872, wlere all trade witl
sensitive loodstulls under tle o¡en sky would be totally ¡rolibited, was
lar lron being realized. Anotler ellect ol tle re¡ort was tle ¡ronounced
¡relerence given to larners over all otler vendors selling in tle narket-
¡laces. Tle raison d`être ol tle narket¡laces was to allow larners to bring
tleir clea¡ and wlolesone ¡roducts to narket.
Tle ¡rivileging ol larners and tle reserved narket¡laces lor larner`s
¡roducts was not a new ¡lenonenon. in 1882 tle narket¡laces on Hotor-
get were reserved lor larners coning in lor tle day. Tle decree was never
well- observed. Instead, tle narket¡laces dis¡layed a lusion ol larners
and city¡eo¡le, wlo lad only registered in tle surrounding countryside
to obtain tle ¡rivileges ol real larners, or in tle words ol tleir detractors.
to be able to ¡arade as larners. In 1890, twenty-nine ¡eo¡le were clarged
witl illicit trade. Tle lollowing year, sone lundred vendors were clarged
witl illicit trade. Tle clarges were lrequently tle result ol denunciations,
olten lron jealous vendors wlo did not wisl to see con¡etitors tlriv-
ing witlout ¡aying ¡ro¡er taxes or revenues, tle way real larners were
entitled to do.
To dehne wlat was autlentic ¡roved to be a dilhcult
54. SCC, a¡¡endix 5}1895.
55. SCC, a¡¡endix 5}1895.
56. Silversson, A-B., ºHandeln ¡a Hotorget under 1800-taletº, ¡. 90-93.
stockholm on the brink of modernity 85
task. Tle incentives were econonic, but tle discussions olten lad noral
overtones, wlere tle good nane ol tle vendor was at stake in a dehnition
gane over tle quality and autlenticity ol tle ¡roducts.
Rules and regulations on the rise
Tle re¡ort ol tle narket connittee lron 1895 arrived in an urban land-
sca¡e tlat was very dillerent lron tle Stockloln ol 1872, wlen a lull
narket lall systen was hrst ¡ro¡osed. First ol all, tle nunber ol lood
outlets lad grown ex¡onentially. Tle city itsell lad also ex¡anded geo-
gra¡lically and tle rennants ol agricultural ¡ractices lad gradually been
noved lurtler out as tle lringe area ol Stockloln becane nore renote.

Tle city lad becone nore urban in claracter, witl new boulevards and
street systens, streets illuninated by gas liglting, and least but not last.
water and sewage systens. Tlis contributed to a new urban landsca¡e,
cleaner and nore nodern tlan ever belore. Tle Stockloln Vorld Lx-
libition ol 1897 also nade tle conten¡oraries nore acutely aware tlat
tle city was noving into a new century. Tle slilt towards a cleaner and
nore organized city lad in ¡art been nirrored in tle city regulations ol
tle trade in lood.
Tle ¡eriod 1873 to 1896 was claracterized by extrene ßuctuations in
tle world narket, and agriculture was in a ¡articularly ex¡osed ¡osition.
Tlis led to a restructuring ol tle entire lood systen. Farners near big
cities like Stockloln went lron grain to aninal lusbandry and ¡rod-
ucts ligler u¡ tle value clain. Dairy, ¡ork, and garden ¡roduce becane
increasingly ¡rohtable, es¡ecially lor larners in near ¡roxinity to urban
narkets. Tle near and tle lar lowever clanged ra¡idly as tle trans¡orta-
tion systens in¡roved. Tlis restructuring ol agriculture allected all ol
Vestern Luro¡e. At tle sane tine, tle ¡rogress in trans¡ortation and
cooling teclniques neant tlat tle con¡etition lron tle transatlantic
agrarian econonies tlreatened to undernine tle translornations in Lu-
ro¡e. As a result, a wave ol ¡rotectionisn swe¡t over tle continent in tle
Tlis transition towards nass ¡roduction was by and large suc-
cesslul. But tle distribution was lagging belind. nass distribution and
nass consun¡tion were yet to be seen. As tle distribution systen was still
57. Ve can see a dininisling acce¡tance ol urban agriculture in tle con¡laints
to tle City Council about tle unlealtly lunes lron tle tobacco helds in Kung-
slolnen lor exan¡le.
58. Arrigli, G., The long twentieth century: money, power, and the origins of our times, ¡.
55ll, Morell, M. °Det konnersiella jordbruketº In J. Myrdal (ed.), Det svenska jord-
brukets historia, ¡. 84-108, Magnusson, L., Sveriges ekonomiska historia, ¡. 348-350.
chapter 4 86
under lornation, it renained o¡en to negotiation regarding rules, regu-
lations, and res¡onsibility. A legal, econonic, and ¡lysical inlrastructure
was under lornulation, and in tlis ¡rocess values were articulated and
notions ol quality, rationality, and autlenticity dehned and redehned.
In 1874, a Public Healtl Act lor all tle towns in Sweden was issued.
Four years later, Stockloln establisled a bureau lor Public Healtl In-
s¡ectors, tle Healtl Police. Lcononic listorian Ranne las slown low
tle work ol tlis organization becane increasingly elhcient as tle ins¡ec-
tors were given nore ¡ower ol investigation and nore resources, even
tlougl tleir control could never be all encon¡assing. Tle ¡ublic lealtl
ins¡ectors drew on ¡rogress in nedicine and tle natural sciences to argue
tleir case, and in 1882 a laboratory lor tle ¡ublic lealtl ins¡ectors was
inaugurated. Gradually, tley also received stronger su¡¡ort lron nen-
bers ol tle Stockloln City Council, as well as lron concerned citizens.

Tle work ol tle Healtl Police was in¡ortant in establisling wlat could
be neasured and wlat constituted quality, and it lel¡ed na¡ out wlat
could be dehned as injurious to tle lealtl, ¡oisonous, or adulterated,
and wlat was lealtly and autlentic.
Tle re¡orts lron tle ¡ublic lealtl ins¡ectors during tle 1880s ex-
¡osed tle a¡¡alling condition ol tle lood narket. Bakeries, slauglter-
louses, and sausage nakers were all targeted by tle ¡ublic lealtl ins¡ec-
tors. In ¡articular, tle neat and dairy trade were subject to nal¡ractice
and lrauds. Tle Public Healtl Board ins¡ectors exanined all neat coning
to Stockloln lron 1878 to 1912, wlen tle abattoir in Lnskede o¡ened
and ins¡ection was undertaken tlere.
Tlis work can be inter¡reted as
tle ¡ractical nanilestations ol tle quality dehnition debates.
Tle ¡ublic lealtl ins¡ectors used tle evidence lron tleir ¡ractice to
convince tle City Council to reinlorce tle rules ol tle Public Healtl Act,
and to give tle Healtl Police greater autlority to intervene and conhscate
and actually destroy goods tlat were adulterated or injurious to lealtl.
Des¡ite tlis, tle ca¡acity to ¡rotect tle ¡ublic renained weak, and tle
City Council was reluctant to introduce any nandatory regulations ol
neat, as tlis would risk augnenting tle ¡rices. Tle weak regulatory
lranework ¡ersisted until tle introduction ol tle Stockloln Food Act ol
1905. Tle strategies and netlods ol tle ¡ublic lealtl ins¡ectors in ¡art
con¡ensated lor tle lack ol nandatory control, but tle lax rules and tle
59. Ranne, U., ºHalso¡olisen ocl livsnedelskontrollens lranvaxt i Stockloln
1878-1912º, Historisk tidskrift, 2001.4, ¡. 577-581, 591-593, Herrlin, M., Berättelse om
hälsopolisens i Stockholm verksamhet 1878-1928, ¡. 41.
60. Herrlin, M., Berättelse om hälsopolisens i Stockholm verksamhet, ¡. 43-44, 45-7, 52,
stockholm on the brink of modernity 87
size ol tle Stockloln narket attracted a lot ol inlerior and adulterated
Tle work ol tle lealtl ¡olice can still be said to lave ¡aved tle
way lor tle stricter legal lranework ol 1905, and contributed to tle new
ways ol inter¡reting and dehning quality.
Alter tle lood act ol 1905, tle ¡ublic lealtl board enitted instruc-
tions lor tle design ol butcler slo¡s, sausage nakers, curing louses,
hslnongers, dairies, nilk slo¡s, bakeries, cake slo¡s, calés, restaurants,
conlectioneries and clocolate lactories. To o¡en a business in any ol tle
above-nentioned helds, tle Public Healtl Board issued a license alter
ins¡ecting tlat tle ¡renises were conlorn to tle legal standards. Milk
slo¡s and dairies were an exce¡tion. tleir regulation dated back to 1887
and was lurtler reinlorced in 1895.
Again, tlis can be seen as tle ¡racti-
cal a¡¡lication ol tle new notions ol quality.
Tle desire to create a nore orderly lood narket nanilested itsell in
several ways des¡ite tle inconclusive results ol tle Market Connittee
re¡ort. Tle nost signihcant was ol course tle new narket trade clarter
ol 1897, wlicl was a ¡artial renegotiation ol tle existing laws regulating
tle narket trade. As a result ol tle new narket trade clarter, tle sugges-
tion ol ¡utting u¡ sin¡le narket sleds in tle interest ol lygiene and ¡ro-
¡riety lron tle 1895 Market Connittee re¡ort was resubnitted to tle
City Council in 1897. Tle narket sleds were to be erected on all najor
narket¡laces. Tle City Council, lowever, o¡ted lor inaction.
was clea¡, and noreover it reßected tle inability ol tle City Council to
establisl a connon ground. Tle scientihc evidence was still not decisive.
It was ¡ossible to argue tlat tle lygienic interests were overzealous and
unlounded. How tle lood trade slould be organized was not evident and
tle detractors ol nunici¡al control ¡ut tleir laitl in tle narket. Fear ol
increased costs lor tle City in tle lorn ol investnents and hxed costs, as
well as lor tle citizens in tle lorn ol ligler lood ¡rices, served as alibis
lor inaction.
Nonetleless, control and regulations were gaining ¡owerlul caclet in
society and tlis ol course allected tle urban lood scene as well. A variety
ol laws and regulations lad been establisled lron tle nid-1800s to tle
First Vorld Var. Tlese range lron general rules, sucl as tle national
regulations lor towns and cities, to nore s¡ecihc, sucl as tle Stockloln
61. Ol course, tle lack ol inlrastructure regarding trans¡ortation and cold storage
also produced a lot ol inlerior and s¡oiled goods, witlout any ill will lron tle sellers.
Harsl living conditions nade sellers less scru¡ulous. See Ranne, U., ºHalso¡olisen
ocl livsnedelskontrollens lranvaxt i Stockloln 1878-1912º, ¡. 573ll, 591-593.
62. Herrlin, M., Berättelse om hälsopolisens i Stockholm verksamhet, ¡. 64-65, 80-94.
63. SCC, a¡¡endix 2}1905.
chapter 4 88
Food Act ol 1905, wlicl directly regulated tle lood trade. Tle legislation
sonetines targeted otler as¡ects and only later lad consequences lor tle
lood trade, sucl as tle ¡ublic lealtl act or tle Tradenark Protection Act.
Tle lood legislation was inßuenced by concerns lor lealtl and lygiene,
lor lonest trade and lair con¡etition, but also lor sulhcient su¡¡ly and
allordable ¡rices.
Tle 1905 Food Act did not nean tlat all lood trade under tle o¡en
sky was ¡rolibited, but it signihcantly altered tle lood scene by regulat-
ing an increasing nunber ol areas. One ol tle direct results ol tle Food
Act was tlat tle City Council decided to buy tle ¡rivate Maria narket
lall in Soutlern Stockloln. Tle lall lad been built in 1899, ¡erla¡s on
tle s¡eculation tlat a ban on tle narket trade under tle o¡en sky would
ensure good revenues lor a narket lall wlen tle vendors were lorced to
nove tleir trade indoors. Tlere was ol course also a generally ex¡ressed
desire ol ¡rotecting lood, vendors, and custoners lron tle elenents, and
¡ronoting lygiene and ¡ro¡riety a new way ol understanding quality.
Market halls as generators of
modernity and urban prestige?
Pro¡osals lor narket lalls lad been ¡ut belore tle City Council a nun-
ber ol tines well belore tle new Stockloln Food Act cane into lorce.
Most ol tle ¡ro¡osals were reiterated several tines witlout yielding any
results. Tlat tle narket lall renained an issue niglt be inter¡reted as
a result ol tle lobbying work ol certain re¡resentatives ol tle lood trade,
wlo lelt tlreatened by tle street vendors and tle trade in tle vibrant
narket¡laces. To lrane trade under tle o¡en sky as an assault on urban
¡ro¡riety and lygiene, tley souglt tle su¡¡ort ol actors like tle ¡ublic
lealtl board, city veterinarians and tle city nedical olhcers. But it was
also tle result ol tle desire ol individuals anxious to create an inlrastruc-
ture and a nore urban claracter to tleir neiglborloods. Tle narket lall
lere becane tle synbol ol a nodern urbanity.
Tle leading ¡rinci¡le lor tle ¡ro¡onents ol a ¡ublic narket lall sys-
ten was tlat in order to control tle lood trade, ¡ublic narket lalls were
necessary. tley were tle nost rational and elhcient neans ol controlling
tle quality, lygiene, and ¡rices ol lood. In 1902, a radical ¡ro¡osal lor
a ban on all narket trade and construction ol ¡ublic narket lalls was
tlus ¡ut belore tle City Council. Belind tlis ¡ro¡osal we hnd tle United
stockholm on the brink of modernity 89
Connittee against disloyal narket trade (tle UC), wlicl lad been estab-
lisled on tle 20tl ol January 1902. Tle UC re¡resented tle slo¡kee¡ers,
in association witl tle larners and narket gardeners ol tle Stockloln
Tle UC actively took ¡art in establisling dehnitions ol wlat con-
stituted lonest trade. Tle dehnitions concerned tle origin and autlen-
ticity ol tle ¡roducts and tle vendors alike. Vlo was entitled to sell wlat,
wlere, and wly· On a larger scale, tlis lad to do witl low tle lood trade
slould be organized in tle nost rational nanner. At stake were questions
ol lood quality, ¡rices, and ¡rohtability.
Tle Market Connittee re¡ort was denounced by tle UC, wlo ¡ointed
to low otler countries lad establisled new narket trade regines restrict-
ing tle sale ol sensitive loodstulls under tle o¡en sky since tlis ¡ractice
was liglly unsuitable. Tlat was a lact so universally acknowledged as to
leave no roon lor debate, tle UC clained. Tle Market Connittee lad
not lad any ¡ro¡er ex¡erts in tle held ol narket trade and tlis accounted
lor tle unsatislactory result ol tle re¡ort, tle vendors in tle Hotorget
narket lall asserted. To su¡¡ort tleir argunent, tley invited tle City
veterinarian Sven Nystedt to give a s¡eecl. He enunerated tle ¡ublic
and ¡rivate narket lalls, tle narket¡laces and tle total nunber ol hxed
stalls available, wlicl anounted to 1,007. He also relerred to 1,277 slo¡s
selling narket ¡roduce.
To ban tle rouglly 1,300 street lawkers would
tlus in no way tlreaten tle urban lood su¡¡ly. Tle narket¡laces would
tlen be lelt to tle 300 real larners.
Tle descri¡tion ol tle lood scene
and tle ¡assion lor naking distinctions between larners and street ven-
dors corres¡onded to tle general desire to dehne and set standards lor
quality and desirable trade ¡ractices to sla¡e tle narket according to a
¡relerred worldview.
More control and nore restrictions were ¡art ol tle UC list ol require-
nents. To linder cunning costernongers lron ¡arading as country-lolk
to avoid lees and taxes, tle UC wanted tle ¡olice tlat ¡atrolled tle nar-
ket¡laces to be re¡laced every tlird nontl to avoid corru¡tion, and all
vendors to lave a certihcate to ensure tlat only real larners were granted
64. Tlis anounted to tle vendors ol tle Hotorget, Östernaln, Svea, and Maria
narket lalls, tle Stockloln larners` association, tle narket gardeners` associa-
tions and tle hne grocers` association.
65. It is dilhcult to estinate tle exact nunber ol slo¡s and street vendors. For
a discussion ol tle retail landsca¡e see Gerentz, S. & Ottosson, J., Handel och köp-
män i Stockholm under ett sekel and Hirdnan, Y., Magfrågan: mat som mål och medel.
Stockholm 1870-1920.
66. Framställning angående torghandelns i Stockholm ordnande, ¡. 8-9, 10-13, SCC, a¡-
¡endix 107}1901.
chapter 4 90
Tle unlair con¡etition and low tle costernongers avoided lees
and taxes were tle nost recurrent con¡laints lron tle slo¡kee¡ers. Tlat
tle costernongers contributed to kee¡ing tle ¡rices ol lood low was not
true, tley just ¡usled tle real larners away, tle slo¡kee¡ers clained.
Again we see low tle slo¡kee¡ers louglt to establisl tleir dehnitions ol
quality and lonest trade, a dehnition tlat excluded tle street vendors.
Tle slo¡kee¡ers, and nore s¡ecihcally tle stalllolders ol tle narket
lalls, wanted to ban all trade on tle narket¡laces, exce¡t lor tle direct
trade between larners and consuners. But tle dehnition ol wlo was a real
larner becane increasingly dilhcult to naintain wlile sinultaneously
gaining in in¡ortance. A ¡erson larning witlin tle Stockloln city lin-
its was not dehned as a larner since a larner lad to be doniciled outside
Stockloln city. But was a real larner soneone wlo sold only wlat le
or sle lad ¡roduced on tleir own ¡ro¡erty· Tlis excluded larners wlo
bouglt ¡roduce lron otlers wlen tleir own ¡roduction was scarce or in-
sulhcient to neet tle denand in tle city.
Tle larners` trade slould be
restricted to tleir own ¡roduce, and larn ¡roduce coning by rail ouglt
only to be sold in wlolesale, tle slo¡kee¡ers argued. Tle larners and
tle narket gardeners joined in tle criticisn, since tley lound tle con-
¡etition lor s¡ace tiresone. Tle larners lad one additional con¡laint,
lowever, as tley accused tle stalllolders in tle narket lalls lor sending
out tleir servants to lawk on tle o¡en-air narkets outside.
As we see,
it was not only dilhcult to establisl tle autlenticity ol a larner, but tle
distinctions between wlolesale and retail sales were not clearcut, and nei-
tler were tle divisions between sales indoors and outdoors. Tle borders
and nargins ol tle lood trade were ßoating.
Tle City Council res¡onded to tle lobbying work ol tle UC. Tle issue
ol building ¡ublic narket lalls and banning all trade under tle o¡en sky
was discussed at lengtl in 1905, tle sane year tlat tle new Stockloln
Food Act cane into ellect. Tle lollowing year tle discussions continued
and anotler a¡¡endix investigating ¡ublic narkets and tle trade under
tle o¡en sky was ¡resented to tle City Council.
In 1905, tle Olhce ol
tle Governor ol Stockloln ex¡licitly relerred to tle UC investigation. It
also based its argunents on tle o¡inions ol tle Public Healtl Board, wlo
su¡¡orted tle UC in tleir denands lor a ¡ublic narket lall systen. Only
in covered narkets could a satislactory lood trade ¡ersist. Tle Olhce ol
67. Framställning angående torghandelns i Stockholm ordnande, ¡. 15-17.
68. Silversson, A-B., ºHandeln ¡a Hotorget under 1800-taletº, ¡. 90.
69. Framställning angående torghandelns i Stockholm ordnande, ¡. 22-27, SCC, a¡¡endix
70. SCC, a¡¡endix 189}1906. See also SCC, a¡¡endix 2}1905.
stockholm on the brink of modernity 91
tle Governor ol Stockloln also invoked tle suggestions by tle City vet-
erinarian Sven Nystedt ol building a central narket lall next to tle grand
central station. Tlere were several otler ¡ublic narket lall ¡ro¡osals. re-
¡lacing an old bazaar witl two new narket lalls on tle new road to tle
Soutlern island, a new building lor tle existing hsl narket in tle Old
Town, and a new narket lall next to tle Soutlern railway station. Tle
Olhce ol tle Governor ol Stockloln was nade its ¡osition clear. tle City
slould assune res¡onsibility and construct a sulhcient nunber ol ¡ublic
narket lalls in order to ban all trade under tle o¡en sky.

In tle a¡¡endix, it was ¡resented as essential tlat tle city slould as-
sune res¡onsibility lor building ¡ublic narket lalls lor all wlo sold in
tle narket¡laces under tle o¡en sky. Tle issue was ol sucl vital in¡or-
tance tlat it was not advisable to leave tle question to ¡rivate enter¡rise.
Vlat renained to decide was wlere tle City slould construct tle new
¡ublic narket lalls.
According to tle views ex¡ressed in tle a¡¡endix,
and tle ex¡erts consulted, all were clearly in lavor ol a centralized systen
ol ¡ublic narket lalls and stricter rules and regulations. As will be seen
below, lygienic, connercial, and ¡olitical concerns nerged into a con-
non ¡erce¡tion ol tle ¡roblen ol tle urban lood su¡¡ly and ol low
quality slould best be ensured.
On belall ol tle Public Healtl Board, tle city veterinarian Sven Ny-
stedt lad been on a study tour abroad to survey tle lood ¡rovisioning
ol otler cities. He lad also consulted ex¡erts, sucl as tle Public Healtl
Ins¡ector nedical doctor Backlund, and tle nerclant Villeln Hansen,
wlo lad a stall in Hotorget narket lall. Hansen lad studied narket-
¡laces and narket lalls botl in Sweden and abroad, and continued to
¡lay an active ¡art in tle debate about a ¡ublic narket lall systen. Ar-
clitects wlo lad designed narket lalls were also consulted by tle city
veterinarian in lis inquiry into tle nost rational lood systen ¡ossible
lor Stockloln.

Tle city veterinarian Nystedt saw tle ¡ublic narket lalls as tle nost
rational answer to tle ¡roblen ol lood distribution. It would at once solve
issues ol quality and ascertain tlat adulteration and lraud were nini-
nized. Tle cost lor tle consuner would renain as low as ¡ossible, and
tle ¡rohts lor tle ¡roducers as ligl as ¡ossible. Not unex¡ectedly, tle
city veterinarian was not strongly su¡¡orted by tle Public Healtl Board
nor tle Healtl Police. He was lowever su¡¡orted by tle UC, des¡ite tle
lact tlat le did not lully agree witl tleir denands lor larsler neasures
71. SCC, a¡¡endix 2}1905.
72. SCC, a¡¡endix 2}1905.
73. SCC, a¡¡endix 2}1905.
chapter 4 92
against tle street vendors. Nystedt lad been invited by tle UC to give
a s¡eecl and le in turn asked one ol tle nenbers ol tle UC, Villeln
Hansen, to serve as an ex¡ert consultant on tle connercial as¡ects ol tle
narket lall systen.
In lis connercial ex¡osition, Hansen, as we will see
below, su¡¡orted and reiterated all tle ¡oints nade by Nystedt.
A systenatic and well-organized lood trade was essential lor any large
city, Nystedt argued, and tle bigger tle city, tle greater tle rece¡tion
area. Storage and distribution networks lad to be well-organized. Tlis
was ¡articularly vital in tle lace ol current ¡olitical develo¡nents. war
always ¡ut an additional strain on tle lood distribution ol any city. Tle
Norwegian-Swedisl Union was under increasing stress, and tle Russo-
Ja¡anese war added to tle sense ol insecurity.
Nystedt cited Paris as an
exan¡le ol low a city could leed two nillion inlabitants during a hve
nontl state ol siege. In liglt ol tlis, Stockloln needed a¡¡ro¡riate stor-
age and sales ¡renises, direct connection to tle railways and waterways,
and lygienic storage lor all connodities. And all ol tlis slould be de-
signed to nininize tle distance between ¡roducer and consuner.
tionality could tlus take on nany dillerent lorns, and be used in nany
dillerent contexts. Tle insecure world situation was used to call lor re-
lorns ol tle lood trade under tle aus¡ices ol rationality.
Die Markthallen Berlins by August Lindenann
was tle nain source
ol ins¡iration to Nystedt. In tlis book le lound exan¡les ol a city tlat
resenbled Stockloln, but tlat lad sur¡assed tle develo¡nents ol tle
Swedisl ca¡ital. Berlin already lad a well-lunctioning systen ol ¡ublic
narket lalls, botl retail and wlolesale.
One ol tle lessons Stockloln
could learn was tlat tle narket lalls in Berlin were not successlul ini-
tially. Only in tle 1880s, wlen tle city ol Berlin lad taken clarge ol tle
lood trade, ¡rolibited sales on tle narket¡laces, and installed a unihed
and well-arranged systen ol ¡ublic narket lalls, did it becone ¡rohtable
to all. Private actors lad souglt to establisl a narket lall nono¡oly, but
luckily lor Berlin, Nystedt ex¡lained, tle city decided tlat issues ol sucl
vital in¡ortance were best solved by ¡ublic autlorities, botl lron an eco-
74. SCC, a¡¡endix 2}1905.
75. Nystedt`s re¡ort was signed A¡ril 15, 1904.
76. SCC, a¡¡endix 2}1905.
77. Tle book was ¡ublisled in 1899, well belore tle systen ol narket lalls in Berlin
lad begun to cone under criticisn.
78. Se¡aration ol wlolesale and retail into se¡arate s¡aces and se¡arate tines was
taking on increasing in¡ortance in tle debate over low tle lood issue in Stockloln
slould be organized. Tlis tendency becane even nore evident in tle hnal re¡ort lron
tle Food Connittee in 1913.
stockholm on the brink of modernity 93
nonic and lygienic ¡ers¡ective.
To Nystedt, nunici¡al control was tle
¡rerequisite lor quality.
Nystedt con¡ared lis hndings in Berlin witl otler exan¡les lron
Gernany and Scandinavia, always witl tle sane conclusion.
wlen tle city assuned lull res¡onsibility could a ¡ublic narket lall sys-
ten becone ¡rohtable, lereby ensuring tlat ¡rices were ke¡t low and
tle lygienic standards were u¡leld. Private narket lalls were not nearly
as satislactory or successlul according to Nystedt`s investigation. Conse-
quently, le suggested tlat tle City ¡urclase tle ¡rivate Östernalns and
Maria narket lalls in order to lave lull nunici¡al control.
Hansen, tle ¡rivate businessnan, su¡¡orted tle view tlat tle City
would best ¡rotect tle ¡ublic interest, as it was in¡artial and lree lron
seeking ¡roht. Like Nystedt, le clearly adnired tle Gernan a¡¡roacl to
organization. tle systen ol city connission agents wlo were connu-
nicating witl ¡roducers lron all over Luro¡e to oller tle ¡o¡ulation ol
Berlin tle best goods ¡ossible at tle lowest ¡rices available. Tle constant
inßux ol lood ensured abundance, noderate ¡rices, and ligler quality.
Hansen saw tle city connission agents as a way ol liniting tle nunber
ol niddlenen. wlolesale auctions could instead be leld in tle central
narket lalls, lron wlere tle goods could tlen be trans¡orted in a ratio-
nal and elhcient nanner. It was in¡ortant tlat tle ¡ublic narket lalls
were not reduced to a source ol nunici¡al incone lowever. Hansen ar-
gued tlat kee¡ing tle rents as low as ¡ossible, in order lor tle stall lold-
ers to kee¡ tleir ¡rices down, would ensure tle ¡ublic`s good o¡inion ol
a nunici¡al narket lall systen.
As an interested ¡arty, Hansen`s dehni-
tions ol best ¡ractices could be disnissed as a biased account. Still, tle
tine and ellort le devoted to learning nore about narket lall systens in
Sweden and abroad tlrougl reading and study tours indicates a connit-
nent beyond nere sell-interest.
Botl Nystedt and Hansen were convinced tlat an a¡¡roacl witl cen-
tralized distribution and ¡ublic narket lalls ollered tle best way ol se-
curing a rational and cost elhcient lood su¡¡ly lor tle cities. It would
contribute to raise tle general quality as tle goods could be ins¡ected
79. SCC, a¡¡endix 2}1905.
80. Tle cities Nystedt cited in lis re¡ort were Berlin, Hanburg, Dresden, Lei¡-
zig, Gotlenburg, Malno, Oslo (tlen Kristiania), and Co¡enlagen. Hansen also
used international exan¡les as evidence ol tle su¡eriority ol tle ¡ublic narket
lall systen. London, Manclester, Paris, Marseilles, Brussels, Berlin, Lei¡zig,
Dresden, and nany otler cities (altlougl le never s¡ecihed wlicl otler cities
le relerred to).
81. SCC, a¡¡endix 2}1905.
82. SCC, a¡¡endix 2}1905.
chapter 4 94
by ¡ublic lood analysts. Moreover, tle nere lact tlat tle consuner was
ollered a vast array ol lood witlin an accessible distance neant tlat tley
could undertake a voyage ol ins¡ection, wlicl would raise tle level ol
quality tlrougl con¡etition. A ra¡id turnover would also guarantee tle
lreslness ol tle su¡¡lies. At a tine wlen individual cold storage cane at
¡rolibitive cost, large, centralized narket lalls would be able to ¡rovide
cool storage, wlicl would also be benehcial. Vlen a ¡ublic narket lall
systen was in ¡lace, all lood trade under tle o¡en sky could easily be
Nystedt was also critical ol decentralized stores, tley were over-
ly luxurious and contributed to elevate tle lood ¡rices unnecessarily.
Here we see low tle o¡inions and anbitions ol tle city veterinarian
Nystedt and tle ¡rivate businessnan Hansen concurred. Botl wanted
centralized distribution in a systen ol ¡ublic narket lalls. Tle idea was
tlat tle riglt kind ol con¡etition would ¡ronote tle riglt kind ol lood
trade. clea¡ and abundant, witl sale lood lor all. Tlis ¡recedes tle nass
narket a¡¡roacl lor lood tlat would establisl itsell decades later.
Nystedt re¡eated tle essence ol lis re¡ort in a lecture to tle Swedisl
Teclnological Society lor Arclitecture (Svenska Teknologloreningens
Aldelning lor Husbyggnadskonst) on October 17, 1904. A transcri¡t ol
tle lecture was re¡rinted tle sane year in a teclnology journal, Teknisk
Tidskrift. Tlis enabled lis views to reacl a wider audience, and lurtler
inßuence ¡ublic o¡inion in lavor ol lis reconnended narket lall a¡-
¡roacl. In tle lecture, tle locus was on tle arclitectural as¡ects ol tle
central narket lall in ¡articular. Nystedt also ¡resented Malarlallen, a
¡ro¡osal lor a narket lall in tle Old Town. Tle beneht ol a nore cen-
tralized systen botl lor abattoirs and lor narket lalls was tlat tle tralhc
situation, wlicl was constantly getting worse, would be alleviated by tle
new, restructured new systen.

Additional benehts ¡ointed out by Nystedt were low econonic
growtl would be stinulated by tle centralized, well-organized abattoir
and narket lall systen. tle lood trade would tlrive and tle lood ¡rices
would decrease. Nystedt also ¡osited tlat witl a centralized lood systen
new lactories would energe and ¡ros¡er, sucl as new sausage lactories,
lactories to nake use ol tle tallow and narrow lron tle abattoir, albu-
nen lactories to nake use ol tle blood, canneries, salting louses lor neat
and ¡ork, and nany otler sinilar o¡erations.

83. SCC, a¡¡endix 2}1905.
84. Nystedt, S., ºDen konnunaltekniska betydelsen lor Stockloln al ett val ord-
nadt slaktlus- ocl salulallsvasenº, Teknisk Tidskrift, 1904, N.o 44.
85. Nystedt, S., ºDen konnunaltekniska betydelsen lor Stockloln al ett val ord-
nadt slaktlus- ocl salulallsvasenº.
stockholm on the brink of modernity 95
Tle visionary scenarios ol a great systen ol ¡ublic narket lalls gained
lesitant a¡¡roval lron tle City Finance Connittee. In ¡rinci¡le, tle city
veterinarian`s suggestion ol constructing a sulhcient nunber ol narket
lalls in order to abolisl tle unlealtly trade under tle o¡en sky was de-
sirable. In ¡ractice, tle hnancial as¡ects lad to be taken into consider-
ation. Tle City as landlord niglt suller econonic losses il tle tenants
in tle narket lalls were not able to tlrive in tle cut-tlroat con¡etition
ol tle urban lood trade. Already tlere were signs ol vacant stalls in tle
narket lalls and dininisling revenues.

Anotler objection was tlat tle narket¡laces slould not be cunbered
by narket lall buildings. Tle Town Building Olhce ¡relerred gardens, like
in London. Tle elegant town square witl its ¡lants and lountains was an
alternative way ol ex¡ressing civic ¡ride. Fron yet anotler ¡erse¡ective,
tle city engineer worried about increasing tralhc and congestion. Tlere
were clearly con¡eting uses ol tle urban s¡ace to be taken into consider-
A new interesting tendency around tle turn ol tle century 1900
was low tle se¡aration ol wlolesale and retail into se¡arate tines and
s¡aces was taking on increasing in¡ortance in tle debate over low tle
lood distribution in Stockloln slould be organized. Tlis tendency be-
cane even nore evident in tle hnal re¡ort lron tle Food Connittee in
1913, and reßects a new attitude towards tle distribution ol goods. Tlis
new attitude ¡aved tle way lor tle niddlenan as a legitinate actor.
The harsh realities
Tle vendors in slo¡s and narket lalls continually voiced tleir grievanc-
es. Rent reductions were one ol tle nost connon denands nade by tle
narket lall vendors to tle City Council. In 1901, tle stalllolders in Ho-
torget narket lall lad yet again ¡etitioned lor rent reductions and a ban
on tle narket¡lace outside tle lall. Tle narket conditions were abys-
nal, tley con¡lained. Tle Hotorget narket lall would soon be en¡ty il
tle con¡etition lron tle outside narket continued unabaited. Many ol
tle vendors also lad a stall in tle neiglboring Östernaln narket lall,
and tle situation tlere was just as bad, tley clained.

Most ol tle vendors in tle Hotorget narket lall lad ¡reviously been
vendors at tle Hotorget o¡en air narket¡lace, and lad noved into tle
lall witl tleir wide circle ol custoners, tlus laying tle loundation lor
tle success ol tle lall. Tley lad consented to noving into tle narket
86. SCC, a¡¡endix 189}1906.
87. SCC, a¡¡endix 189}1906.
88. SCC 143}1901.
chapter 4 96
lall on tle understanding tlat tle con¡etition lron tle narket¡lace
outside would be linited to larners, and not include dislonest and dis-
loyal lucksters wlo ¡aid no lees and no taxes. Tle lucksters and tleir
deceitlul nanners and dislonest trade would not only drive away tle
¡oor, lonest vendors in tle narket lalls, but also all tle real larners as
well, con¡lained tle Hotorget narket lall tenants.

Il we look at tle nunber ol vacant stalls in 1901, tley anount to
eiglty-one in total, witl only a snall nunber in tle ¡ublic narket lalls.
six in tle Hotorget narket lall and twelve in Kottorget narket lall. Tle
najority were in tle ¡rivate narket lalls. tlirty-eiglt in Östernalns nar-
ket lall, twenty in Svea narket lall, and hve in Vasa narket lall. Alter tle
new Stockloln Food Act was introduced in 1905, tle situation in¡roved
lor all narket lalls, exce¡t tle biggest two, tle Hotorget and Östernaln
narket lalls.
Tle en¡ty stalls renained a natter ol debate tlougl, and
sone clained tlat tle stalllolders were to be blaned as tley outbid one
anotler to get alold ol tle best stalls. Otlers were nore concerned about
tle lygiene and tle urgency to ban all trade witl sensitive loodstulls un-
der tle o¡en sky.

Tle slo¡kee¡ers and tle larners did join lorces to attack tleir con-
non eneny, tle street lawkers. Tle list ol con¡laints lron tle slo¡-
kee¡ers and larners was long. tle unlair con¡etition and tle loss ol tax
noney lor tle city, tle lygienic concern lor tle lood quality wlen sold
under tle o¡en sky, tle desire to ¡ronote direct trade tlat would beneht
tle ¡oorest inlabitants. But tle real eneny lor tle slo¡kee¡ers seens to
lave been tle larsl con¡etition tlat drove even tle slo¡kee¡ers tlen-
selves into connitting crines tlat tley accused otler ol. Tle larners and
tle narket gardeners were botlered by tle congestion, and tle larners
in ¡articular were concerned about lalling ¡rices lor tleir ¡roducts. Tle
niddlenan was accused ol rea¡ing tle ¡rohts ol tle lard work ol larn-
ers to tle detrinent ol tle consuner and tle ¡roducer alike. Lven tlose
wlo were tlenselves niddlenen, like tle slo¡kee¡ers and tle stalllold-
ers in tle narket lalls, con¡lained about tle dislonest niddlenen driv-
ing u¡ ¡rices and de¡leting lonest trades¡eo¡le. But tle niddlenan was
tlere to stay.
89. SCC, a¡¡endix 107}1901, Silversson, A-B., ºHandeln ¡a Hotorget under 1800-ta-
letº, ¡. 90-93.
90. SCC, a¡¡endix 189}1906.
91. SCC, o¡inion 343}1901 in connection to SCC 143}1901.
Speeding into modernity
The Food Commitee and the cost of living
Tle ¡eriod lron 1896 u¡ until tle First Vorld Var can nainly be clar-
acterized as a s¡ectacular global econonic boon and Sweden was riding
tle wave ol econonic ¡ros¡erity lull s¡eed. Innovations like electricity,
tle internal-conbustion engine, tle ball bearing, tle nilk se¡arator, and
tle tele¡lone all contributed to tle ra¡idly ex¡anding econony. Fron
tle 1890s, it is ¡ossible to talk about econonies ol scale and sco¡e. Sci-
entihc nanagenent and autonatization were tle s¡irit ol tle tines, and
rationality was beginning to aquire its status as a guiding ¡rinci¡le lor all
lorns ol business, and as a ¡ositive value on its own. Tlis did not nean
tlat tlere were constant in¡rovenents to tle econonic and social con-
ditions or tlat tle ¡rohts were evenly distributed. On tle contrary, tlis
¡eriod was narked by slar¡ conßicts, and in 1904 tlere was a general
crisis in tle world econony. Tle ellects were delayed in Sweden, and tle
lull ellects were not lelt until 1907.

In 1907, tle lood ¡rices were soaring and unen¡loynent nade tle
¡oor even nore vulnerable tlan belore. To res¡ond to tle nounting criti-
cisn in tle ¡ress, a¡¡eals were nade to tle Stockloln City Council, and
a Food Connittee was a¡¡ointed to investigate wlat could be done in
1. Arrigli, G., The long twentieth century, ¡. 173-177, Magnusson, Sveriges ekonomiska
historia, ¡. 348-350, 363.
chapter 5 98
order to bring down tle lood ¡rices.
Tle connitte addressed several
nain ¡roblens. First, tlere was tle question ol low to ex¡and tle urban
lood su¡¡ly by increasing tle lood ¡roduction in tle vicinity ol Stock-
loln. Second, tle trans¡ortation inlrastructure slould be given an over-
laul. ¡erla¡s tle City could do sonetling to lacilitate trans¡ortation·
Tlird, tle lood trade lad to be organized in a satislactory nanner. Tle
¡osition ol tle connittee was clear. tle solution to tlese ¡roblens lay
in a nunici¡al narket lall systen and a ¡ublic abattoir. Tle benehts ol
sucl a systen were so obvious no lurtler discussion was necessary, tlus
tle connittee would not waste tine investigating wlat was already an
establisled trutl. Instead it would wait lor tlis a¡¡roacl to naterialize,
and concentrate its ellorts on investigating wlat could be done in order
to su¡¡ort tle ¡ublic narket lalls to be.

Tle Food Connittee reiterated tle essence ol tleir re¡ort by alhrn-
ing tlat a well-organized narket lall systen was tle solution to all tle
¡roblens tle lood trade was lacing. Tlis was conhrned by international
exan¡les, and to lurtler illustrate tleir ¡oint, tle connittee en¡la-
sized tlat tle lack ol organization was tle reason Stockloln was still so
ex¡ensive. Only wlen narket lalls in a sulhcient nunber lad been con-
structed could tle lood trade be centralized and tle distribution solved
in a rational nanner. Tlen tle ca¡ital could enjoy tle benehts ol abun-
dant su¡¡ly, clea¡ ¡rices, and good quality. Tle distribution ol lood was
¡resented by tle Food Connittee as being ol tle utnost in¡ortance, a
question ol national security. To su¡¡ort tleir argunent, tley ¡ointed
to tle dock worker strike in Great Britain, tlat in a natter ol days lad
caused a severe lood slortage. To be de¡endent on in¡orts to tle sane
extent as tle Britisl was tlus a serious risk. National lood ¡roduction
was saler and nore desirable. Tlus tle locus ol tle Food Connittee lay
on stinulating an increase in ¡roduction and organizing a better distri-
bution inlrastructure.

2. Tle nenbers ol tle Food Connittee were Gustal Adoll Hack d`Ailly, Director ol
tle National Railways Board, Axel Ceder, a neclanical worker at L M Lricsson, and
Ldvard Laurent, a nedical doctor. Sven Nystedt, tle city veterinarian, was tle hrst
secretary, but was re¡laced by Villeln Hansen, a nerclant witl a stall in Hotorget
Market Hall. Sven Nystedt continued to serve tle Food Connittee as an ex¡ert, along
witl otlers wlo were in lavor ol a narket lall systen, sucl as Klas Sondén lron tle
Public Healtl Board, or August Lyttkens, wlo anong otler tlings was an ins¡ector
at tle National Board ol Agriculture. SCC a¡¡endix 75}1913. See also Nordin, C.,
Oordning, ¡. 236.
3. SCC, 65}1907, SCC a¡¡endix 75}1913.
4. SCC a¡¡endix 75}1913.
speeding into modernity 99
Part ol tle Food Connittee`s work on tlis natter was to investigate
tle railroad trans¡orts ol lood. A questionnaire lad been sent out to tle
larger Luro¡ean cities, as well as to tle USA and Australia, to see low tley
lad a¡¡roacled tle urban lood su¡¡ly. wlat lad been done to lacilitate
trans¡ortation, and low lad tlis allected tle lood ¡rices·
Tle investiga-
tion included questions about livestock, neat, nilk, and dairy ¡roducts,
as well as eggs, nacaronis, and garden ¡roduce. Tle reconnendations ol
tle investigation were to encourage relrigerated trans¡orts and ¡rovide
adequate cooling lacilities in tle vicinity ol railway stations and larbors,
as well as s¡ecial railway trucks lor lood trans¡orts and a general lower-
ing ol tle lees lor trans¡orting lood on tle railways. Il ¡ossible, tle lood
trans¡orts slould arrive as early as ¡ossible in tle norning to be sold on
tle norning wlolesale narkets. Tle Food Connittee concluded tlat to
aclieve a satislactory urban lood su¡¡ly witl noderate ¡rices, tle City
lad to ¡rovide tle inlrastructure lor a rational lood trade. Tlis trans-
lated into ra¡id trans¡ortation, a¡¡ro¡riate ¡ackaging, and relrigerated
railway trucks. Fisl, slellhsl, neat, nilk, lruit, and vegetables were goods
5. Tle questionnaires were circulated by tle Ministry lor Foreign Allairs. See SCC,
a¡¡endix 75}1913. Tle Food Connittee was well-connected, and tleir investigations
were given ¡riority by tle governnent. In lact, several connittees were a¡¡ointed to
investigate tle lood situation ol otler towns.
5.1 Panorama of Hötorget market hall and market place.
Unknown photographer, Ca 1910. Stockholms stadsmuseum.
chapter 5 100
tlat benehtted signihcantly in terns ol quality lron ra¡id, relrigerated

Tle issue ol ellective trans¡ortation to Stockloln could be solved in
a nunber ol ways. Tle Food Connittee ¡relerred tle railways. Vlen al-
ready in ¡lace, waterways could be ol use, but building canals was not an
o¡tion. Tle connittee also ¡ointed to tle exan¡le ol lood distributed
by tle ¡ostal services in Gernany, wlere it lad lad a ¡ositive in¡act on
lood ¡rices. However, tle Swedisl Postal Services were not ¡ositive to tle
suggestion tlat tley slould lower tle ¡ostage clarges.
Mail order lood
never did take oll in Sweden.
Nonetleless, tle in¡rovenents in trans¡ortation and cooling tecl-
niques neant tlat lood could be trans¡orted over lar greater distances
and be ¡reserved over longer ¡eriods ol tine. Tlis lad consequences lor
tle conce¡t ol quality. Il nilk, lor exan¡le, could be trans¡orted over
long distances, tle attributes lor deternining lreslness would alter lron
warn nilk straiglt lron tle cow`s udder to cold nilk, wlicl was cooled
innediately alter nilking. Tle nost liglly valued attributes were tlus
renegoitiated. Tle translornations also lad consequences lor rationality
and autlenticity. was access to railway systens and a suitable inlrastruc-
ture tle sane as a rational lood systen· And was cold nilk real nilk· Tle
discussion could be extended to otler loodstulls as well. As relrigerated
trans¡ortations in¡roved, it was not necessarily better to trans¡ort live-
stock ratler tlan neat, or live hsl ratler tlan iced hsl. But every clange
was subject to new ¡erce¡tions ol tle good and tle bad, tle lealtly and
tle lazardous.
Still, tle staggering costs ol living in Stockloln lad been observed
in a survey in 1907-1908. Tle results slowed tlat tle nain ex¡ense lor
nost louselolds was lood, and lor tle ¡oorest it anounted to alnost
lall ol tle louselold incone.
Tle cost ol lood lron 1888 to 1908 lad
been rising gradually, witl slar¡ increases in 1889-1893, and incessant
increases in 1904-1907, continuing u¡wards sonewlat in 1908. Tlis ¡e-
riod also corres¡onds to tle general crisis in tle world econony as cited
above. Tle cost ol living in Stockloln was 5 to 10 ¡ercent ligler tlan
in tle rest ol tle country, sonetines even 20 to 40 ¡ercent ligler. Tle
wlolesale ¡rices were not as ligl, it was ¡rinarily tle retail ¡rices tlat
were signihcantly ligler in Stockloln. Tle Food Connittee sus¡ected
6. SCC, a¡¡endix 185}1908, SCC, a¡¡endix 75}1913.
7. SCC, a¡¡endix 75}1913.
8. Housekee¡ing statistics were connon around tle turn ol tle century 1900, and
tle survey relerred to sinilar studies in Co¡enlagen, Gernany, and Finland. See SCC,
speeding into modernity 101
tlat ligler rents ol stores, ex¡ensive trans¡ortation, and unstructured
distribution were tle causes lor tle abnornally ligl ¡rice level in tle
ca¡ital. However, as tle City Council lad objected to tle Food Connit-
tee collecting statistics on lood ¡rices in tle stores ol Stockloln, tleir
estinates ol tle Stockloln lood ¡rices were based on statistics lor los-
¡itals, and could tlus not ¡rovide tle desired accuracy or level ol detail
necessary to ex¡lain tle ¡rice levels in tle ca¡ital.

Tle Food Connittee asserted tlat tle staggering costs ol living were
not only conhned to Stockloln, but also allected °nost civilized coun-
triesº. Lstablisling a wlolesale trade was in¡ortant, but so was a locus
on raising tle ¡roduction ca¡acity. Tle work ol tle large agricultural co-
o¡eratives was ¡ronising, but in order lor tle consuner to beneht lron
tle advances on tle ¡roduction side, tle lood trade ouglt to be organized
in a rational nanner by tle nunici¡al autlorities, wlo would serve as
business ¡artner lor tle successlul agricultural coo¡eratives. Tlat would
beneht ¡roducer and consuner alike. But tle lood question was botl
con¡lex and urgent. To con¡lenent tle ¡rogress ol tle agricultural co-
o¡eratives, citizens slould be encouraged to raise rabbits and clicken, as
well as engage in lorticulture.

Tlis anbition could be linked to tle °own-your-own-loneº associa-
tions tlat were in vogue around tle turn ol tle century in 1900. Tle
anbition was, at least in ¡art, to nake tle transition lron an agrarian to
an industrial society run snootler by ¡roviding tle working classes witl
alternatives to ¡overty and socialisn tlrougl tle norally u¡lilting ¡roj-
ect ol owning your own lone and growing your own lood.

In tle anbitious ¡rogran ol tle Food Connittee, no issue was too
insignihcant and no area too renote. Lducating tle ¡ublic by giving lree
courses on various ¡reserving teclniques, or on low to cook clea¡ lood,
were anong tle suggestions lron tle Food Connittee. Tle connitte
lound ins¡iration lron Gernany, wlere several cities lad sinilar activi-
ties lor lree. Selling lood by weiglt ratler tlan by quantity was anotler
in¡ortant relorn tlat tle connittee souglt to introduce. Again, tle
Food Connittee lound ins¡iration lron abroad. Hungary lad intro-
duced sucl relorns nucl to tle beneht ol all.
Tle desire to hnd solu-
tions to all as¡ects ol lile, and tle international exan¡les to su¡¡ort tle
9. SCC, a¡¡endix 75}1913.
10. SCC, a¡¡endix 75}1913.
11. See lor exan¡le Deland, M., The social city, Ldling, N., Det fosterländska hemmet;
Lindkvist, A., Jorden åt folket.
12. SCC, a¡¡endix 75}1913, SCC, 254}1914.
chapter 5 102
suggestions, can be inter¡reted as ¡art ol a larger sclene ol relornning
society and kee¡ing u¡ witl nodernity.
Anotler novenent tlat was a¡¡roacling tle larsl living conditions
lron a dillerent angle was tle coo¡erative novenent. Tle Food Con-
nittee looked at wletler coo¡erative solutions were nore benehcial tlan
nunici¡al neasures, or wletler tle coo¡erative novenent and nunici-
¡al autlorities slould join lorces. Tley were assisted in tlis by tle Na-
tional Association ol Social Vork (Centrallorbundet lor Socialt Arbete),
tle CSA.
Tle connittee concluded tlat tle coo¡erative novenent was
better lelt to itsell and tlat tle role ol tle nunici¡al autlorities was to
¡rovide an inlrastructure lor narket lalls in a centralized, rational lood
distribution systen.

But to decide wlat inlrastructure tle nunici¡al autlorities slould
¡rovide was a dilhcult question. Many solicited aid wlicl served tleir
own sell-interest. For exan¡le, tle Food Connittee received ¡ro¡osals
lron ¡roducers wlo wisled tle City would ¡rovide narket sleds lree ol
clarge. Tle reason lor tlis, tle ¡roducers ex¡lained, was tlat hne lruits
and berries were sensitive and needed ¡rotection lron tle wind, dust,
rain and sun tlat could all reduce tle value and quality ol tle garden ¡ro-
duce. Many ¡roducers lad also started to ¡ay nore attention to elaborate
¡ackaging, wlicl likewise needed ¡rotection lron tle elenents. Yet an-
otler reason lor tle city to ¡rovide narket sleds lor ¡roducers was tlat
towards tle end ol tle day, ¡roducers wlo could not store tleir goods
adequately would be obliged to dun¡ tleir ¡roducts to lawkers wlo
would tlen resell at ligler ¡rices, to tle detrinent ol botl ¡roducers
and consuners. Il tle ¡roducers lad to bring tleir goods back lone over
niglt, tlis would increase tle trans¡ortation costs and s¡ill over onto tle
¡rices as well.
Tlat consuners could buy hrst land wlen tle ¡roducers
dun¡ed tleir ¡rices, was not nentioned as a ¡ossibility.
Still, tlis reßects low dillerent actors souglt nunici¡al su¡¡ort, and
tlat tley did tlis by lraning tlenselves and tleir goods as being ol sucl
hne quality as to require encouragenent and su¡¡ort. Attributes like 'hne`
or 'delicate` were used as argunents. Tle ¡rovenance ol tle goods and
tle ¡roducers were also tlrown into tle balance. an autlentic ¡roducer
would sell lis goods at lower ¡rices and tle lreslness would likewise be
13. Tle CSA las attracted a lot ol attention lately as it celebrated its centennary in
2006. See lor exan¡le Kavel, S., Det villkorade tillståndet, H. Sward (ed.), Ligga till last, H.
Sward & M-A. Lgero (eds.), Villkorandets politik.
14. SCC, a¡¡endix 75}1913.
15. SCC, a¡¡endix 147}1908, SCC, a¡¡endix 74}1913.
speeding into modernity 103
¡reserved in a nost rational nanner only il direct trade was allowed to
ßourisl in ¡rotected narket sleds.
Tle Food Connittee asked tle agricultural societies lron tle inne-
diate surroundings and lron tle nore ¡roninent larning districts in
soutlern Sweden wlat tle City Council could do to lacilitate tle inßux
ol goods. Tle agricultural societies called lor a better distribution systen.
Sone wanted suitable consuners` coo¡erative societies, as tley were like-
ly to serve tle interests ol ¡roducers and consuners alike, witlout seek-
ing ¡roht tle way nore connercially-ninded niddlenen were ¡rone to
do. Tle coo¡erative societies were considered as a way to ¡rovide a sale in-
cone lor tle ¡roducers. tle ¡roducer coo¡eratives lad establisled tlen-
selves largely by giving tle ¡roducers narket ¡otential and lad tlus cre-
ated conhdence anong nany ¡roducers tlat coo¡erative societies were
trustwortly in tleir nature. Tle ¡roducer coo¡eratives lad also initiated
¡aynent according to quality, as various lorns ol grade labelling were
entering tle consciousness ol tle ¡roducers. Tle ¡roducers also called
lor nore inlornation about tle lood regulations currently in lorce. Tle
Malnolus agricultural society ex¡licitly asked lor nodern narket lalls
witl sulhcient cold storage lor tines ol bounty, to balance tle ¡rice ßuc-
tuations to tle lasting beneht ol consuners and ¡roducers alike.

Tle lorner National Board ol Agriculture ins¡ector August Lyttkens,
wlo lad also been consulted by tle Food Connittee as to wlat tle City
could do to ¡ronote a larger su¡¡ly ol agricultural ¡roduce, wanted to
see ex¡osition lalls to lel¡ lood ¡roducers understand new teclnol-
ogy and new netlods lor ¡re¡aring, ¡ackaging, and trans¡orting tleir
¡roducts. Tlis would also be an excellent o¡¡ortunity to establisl new
contacts and business relations. Tle nunici¡al ex¡osition lalls could be
used by otler actors tlan tle lood ¡roducers, and would kee¡ down tle
costs. Tlis would also contribute to lowering tle costs ol lood in tle long

Tle ellorts by Lyttkens and tle various agricultural societies can be
seen as a ste¡ towards standardizing and hnding nore streanlined solu-
tions to tle distribution ol lood, witl trans¡ortation, storage, and suit-
able ¡ackaging in locus. Tle standardization ellorts reßected a desire to
organize ¡roduction and distribution in a nore rational nanner. Here
quality becane a tool. il certain ¡ro¡erties were valued and dehned as
quality, tle ¡roducers would strive to ¡roduce nore ol tle sane in order
to naxinize tleir ¡rohts. Tle consuners would beneht since tley could
close lron ¡roducts sorted into dillerent categories, eacl witl its own
16. SCC, a¡¡endix 75}1913.
17. SCC, a¡¡endix 75}1913.
chapter 5 104
set ol ¡ro¡erties and, ol course, its own ¡rice range. Order and quality
in a nodern, rational nanner would lead to less waste, lower ¡rices, and
ligler ¡rohts at tle sane tine.
Tle ¡rotective slelters and narket sleds tle ¡roducers lad wisled
lor, and tlat tle Food Connittee lad reconnended, were not well re-
ceived by tle City Council. Tle City Council did not wisl to interlere
tlis way in lree enter¡rise. Furtlernore, tle vendors wlo lad tleir hxed
narket¡laces would lave lad to disnantle tleir stalls, and tle City still
collected lees lor tleir s¡aces. To ¡rovide narket sleds lree ol clarge to
hrstland ¡roducers would tlus distort lree con¡etition, not to nention
low it would entail costs to tle City Council witlout generating any in-

Tle Food Connittee leld a dillerent o¡inion on s¡ending tax non-
ey. In its view, restructuring lood distribution in Stockloln was ol sucl
ligl ¡riority tlat tle City Council, lree ol ¡ersonal interests and ¡roht-
seeking, would do its best to assune lull res¡onsibility lor its organiza-
tion. Tlerelore tle lear ol s¡ending tax noney nust be ignored as tle
lood distribution lad to be solved. Tle City slould not seek to ¡roht
lron tle organization ol tle lood trade, tle ultinate goal slould be to
lower tle cost ol lood, by ¡roviding tle inlrastructure needed lor a cen-
tralized wlolesale lood trade in central, wlolesale narket lalls.

Tle Food Connittee re¡eatedly used international exan¡les, Gerna-
ny in ¡articular, to argue tleir ¡oint. Gernan towns lad in¡lenented
relorns and constructed wlolesale narket lalls and abattoirs, wlicl re-
sulted in clea¡ ¡rices, good quality, and a rational lood trade. Interna-
tional sclolars were also relerred to by tle connittee to gain legitinacy. A
translated co¡y ol Dr. Lange`s Die Versorgung der gross-städischen Bevölkerung
mit frischen Nahrungsmitteln was subnitted to tle City Council as evidence
ol tle tle benehts ol a well-organized lood systen, wlicl would tran-
scend tle slackles ol tine and s¡ace. Su¡¡ly would no longer be linited
to tle local level, as national and even international su¡¡ly would o¡en
tle gates to nass consun¡tion. To landle tle voluninous new su¡¡ly,
Dr. Lange argued in lavor ol city connission agents, central narket lalls,
and ¡ublic abattoirs - just like tle Food Connittee ol 1907.

18. SCC, 4}1909.
19. SCC, a¡¡endix 75}1913.
20. SCC, a¡¡endix 75}1913.
speeding into modernity 105
City commission agents, central
market halls, and public abattoirs
In 1907, tle City Council a¡¡ointed an Abattoir and Market Hall Board
(tle AMH Board). Two years later, tle AMH Board took over res¡onsi-
bility lor overseeing tle o¡en air narkets. Tle nost ¡o¡ular narkets
tlat attracted tle largest crowds were tle Hotorget and Östernalnstorg
narket¡laces, but tle total area ol available s¡ace lor o¡en air narkets
anounted to 13,000 square neters distributed across Stockloln.
nenbers ol tle AMH Board all lad international contacts and broad
ex¡erience, as did tle hrst director Martin Sandeborg, wlo lad written
on abattoirs and narket lalls lor years and served as an assistant city
veterinarian in Stockloln until 1902. He lad also been tle director ol
tle abattoir in Gotlenburg until 1910, at wlicl tine le was recruited to
Tle Abattoir and Market Hall Adninistration gradually increased
tleir autlority. Tley were given ¡ernission to lold lood auctions, and
investigated tle introduction ol city connission agents. Tley also ¡re-
¡ared lor tle construction ol tle Central Market Hall and tle ¡ublic
abattoir in Lnskede. Tle director ol tle ¡ublic abattoir and tle narket
lalls would oversee tle narket¡laces lor livestock, tle neat ins¡ection
bureaus, and tle destruction ol conhscated loods, in addition to lis sell-
evident duties ol nanaging tle abattoir, tle narket lalls, and as nen-
tioned above, tle o¡en-air narkets.

Hall-way tlrougl tleir investigation, tle Food Connittee ex¡lained
to tle City Council tlat connission agents and ¡ublic auctions in large
centralized lood distribution units, sucl as large ¡ublic narket lalls witl
an¡le storage lacilities, would be a way ol solving tle ¡roblen ol tle ligl
cost ol tle urban lood su¡¡ly. Tle best solution would be il tlese were
nunici¡al, as it would guarantee low costs and ligl lygienic standards.
Tle overall ¡ur¡ose was to lower trans¡ortation costs and tlereby beneht
lron tle increases in ¡roduction tlat were being re¡orted by tle National
Board ol Agriculture. Tle Clairnan ol tle National Board ol Agriculture
¡roudly announced tlat tlere were associations lor tle ¡roduction and
21. Tilstan, R., Med Stockholms stads saluhallsstyrelse 1907-1997, ¡. 9.
22. Nordin, C., Oordning, ¡. 235-236. Sandeborg also collected ¡ress cuts on various
lood and veterinary related issues lron 1902 to 1937, wlicl lave been ¡reserved in
tle arclives ol tle Abattoir and Market Hall Board. For a discussion ol tle collection,
see tle introduction ol tlis book.
23. SCC, 164}1910, SCC a¡¡endix 76}1910, SCC 250}1909.
chapter 5 106
sale ol eggs, lruits and vegetables, and clea¡ rabbit neat. Tle ¡roducers
only needed an adequate distribution structure.

Tle distribution network in Stockloln was unlavorably con¡ared to
nunici¡al solutions abroad. Paris, Vienna, Buda¡est, and various otler
Luro¡ean cities were cited as sucl exan¡les,
but tle US was also used to
illustrate tle benehts ol a nore centralized and tlus nore rational lood
Tle City Council sent Villeln Hansen and an arclitect lron tle
Town Building Olhce on a study tour to Gernany to ¡resent tle ¡lans
nade so lar lor a Central Market Hall tlat could ¡rovide tle backbone ol
a new nunici¡al distribution inlrastructure. On tle 30tl ol A¡ril 1909
tley re¡orted back tlat tle Gernan autlorities lad notling but ¡raise
and a¡¡roval. tle blue¡rints lor tle new central narket lall were exen-

So wlere did tle lood on sale in Stockloln cone lron in 1909· Tle
Food Connittee con¡lained about a lack ol con¡relensive statistics.
Tle largest ¡art cane lron tle surrounding larnland in tle Malardalen
area, but lood also cane lron tle island ol Gotland and tle coastal dis-
tricts ol tle county ol Snaland. Tlere were statistics lor lood in¡orts
lron Finland, Russia, Dennark, Gernany, tle Netlerlands, Great Brit-
ain, France, S¡ain, Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, tle US, and Australia, but
tle list was not con¡lete. Still, witl lood coning lron sucl a variety ol
sources, it was necessary to lave sone lorn ol control, and ¡relerably
a systen ol control tlat did not incur ¡rolibitive costs. A ¡ublic nar-
ket lall systen would best answer tle denands lor a rational lood trade,
witl nininal ¡rohts lor tle niddlenen, resulting in acce¡table ¡rices
lor tle consuners.

To s¡eed u¡ tle ¡rocess ol a con¡relensive ¡ublic narket lall sys-
ten, tle 1907 Food Connittee wanted tle AMH Board to build ¡ublic
warelouses witl cold storage and lreezing equi¡nent. Tlis would also
24. SCC, a¡¡endix 121}1909.
25. Anong tle otlers Luro¡ean cities were Brussels, Düsseldorl, Fiune, Franklurt,
Karlsrule, Koln, Lei¡zig, Münclen, Stuttgart, and Trieste.
26. Tle US lad a dillerent tradition ol lood distribution, wlere ¡ublic narkets lad
been re¡laced by ¡rivate enter¡rise, only tlen to be re¡laced by ¡ublic narkets yet
again. Horace Ca¡ron, Connissioner ol tle United States De¡artnent ol Agricul-
ture between 1867 to 1871, undertook a review ol tle current narket systens. His
nane is associated witl tle beginning ol wlat can be called °scientihc nanagenent
ol lood narketing and distributionº, wlere tle ¡ur¡ose ol °elininating waste and in-
elhciency de¡ended on understanding tle entire systen and its ¡arts.º See Tangires,
H., Public Markets and Civic Culture in Nineteenth-Century America, ¡. 152.
27. SCC, a¡¡endix 121}1909.
28. SCC, a¡¡endix 196}1909.
speeding into modernity 107
extend tle Stockloln lrontiers ol lood su¡¡ly in tine and s¡ace, and
tlus create tle nost rational and nodern lorn ol wlolesale lood trade.
Tle AMH Board, wlo was as ol Novenber 1, 1912 still waiting lor tle
inauguration ol tle Central Market Hall, was critical. Tle Board used tle
narket lall in Breslau as an exan¡le ol lailure. Tle newly o¡ened retail
and wlolesale narket lalls in Breslau lad an occu¡ancy rate ol only 12.1
¡ercent. In Koln, tle situation was alnost as bad witl only 15.9 ¡ercent
ol ca¡acity in use. Des¡ite insistent denands lor nunici¡al cold storage
lron tle lood trade re¡resentatives, tlis interest seened to witler once
tle lacilities were in ¡lace. Tle AMH Board asserted tlat it was tlerelore
better to await tle develo¡nent ol tle central narket lall belore engag-
ing in leavy investnent in nunici¡al warelouses wlicl no one would
want to use.

Not sur¡risingly, tle Food Connittee did not agree witl tle AMH
Board. In its view, tle Breslau exan¡le only slowed tlat tle location ol
a retail narket lall lad to be closen witl extrene care. In addition, tle
result in Breslau could be ex¡lained by a vibrant trade in tle o¡en-air
narkets. In regards to Koln, tle inlornation nust be old, as tle Food
Connittee lad understood tlat tle nunici¡al autlorities in Koln were
tlinkning ol ex¡anding tle cold storage ca¡acity and building bigger
wlolesale narket lalls. Tle cold storage was running on electricity and
tlus liglly nodern and rational.

In 1912, two new city connission agents were a¡¡ointed in addition
to tle already existing city connission agent lor hsl, one res¡onsible
lor neat, wild gane, and ¡oultry and tle otler res¡onsible lor lruit and
vegetables. Tle lood was sold at auctions and ¡ublic ¡rice quotations
were ¡ublisled eacl week. Tle auctions and tle ¡rice quotations disa¡-
¡eared and rea¡¡eared at regular intervals over tle years.
Tlis was one
way lor tle nunici¡al autlorities to intervene in tle lood narket witl-
out interlering too nucl witl lree enter¡rise and witlout s¡ending too
nucl tax noney. It was also a neans to exercising control and neasuring
in a non-obtrusive way. Tle ¡rice quotations only concerned tle wlole-
sale side, tlere were denands lor retail ¡rice quotations tlat were never
in¡lenented. Tle retail narkets were ol course nucl larder to survey,
and tlere were nore lactors to be taken into account wlen assessing tle
quality ol a retailer, sucl as convenient distance lron lone, o¡ening
lours, and service.
29. SCC, a¡¡endix 129}1914.
30. SCC, a¡¡endix 129}1914.
31. Tilstan, R., Livet i Klarahallarna, ¡. 115-117.
chapter 5 108
On Decenber 3, 1912, tle Central Market Hall hnally o¡ened its gates.
Larlier tle sane year, on January 31, tle Abattoir in Lnskede was inau-
gurated. But it was lar lron an all-encon¡assing systen witl a sulhcient
nunber ol narket lalls to enable a ban on all trade under tle o¡en sky.
Tle lollowing year, tle Food Connittee subnitted tleir hnal re¡ort to
tle City Council. Tle re¡ort advocated a systen ol narket lalls to ellect
an organized lood trade and distribution in tle urban context. To under-
stand tle situation in Stockloln, and wlicl neasures tle Swedisl ca¡i-
tal slould take, tlere were con¡arisons witl tle lood trade in London,
Paris, and Berlin. Berlin, wlicl lad litlerto been leld u¡ as a nodel ol
aclievenent, was now deened a lailure. Tle consuners never lrequented
tle retail narket lalls in Berlin. Tle lesson to be learned was tlat tle
location ol a retail narket lall was ol utnost in¡ortance. Tle best tling
was to build tlen next to existing narket¡laces, and tlen ¡ut a ban on
tle trade under tle o¡en sky, tlereby also solving tle dilhcult issue ol ly-
Tlere lad been objections to retail narket lalls belore tle Food
Connittee subnitted tleir re¡ort, but it is interesting to note tlat tle
connittee, wlo seened so connitted to tle idea ol narket lalls, lad
clanged tleir ¡osition. It was also interesting low a ¡reviously lavored
exan¡le ol success, Berlin, now turned into a cautionary tale.
Tle Central Market Hall lad a dilhcult start. Neitler custoners nor
vendors were as entlusiastic as tle City Council lad ex¡ected. Instead,
tley stubbornly renained at tle Hotorget narket lall and narket¡lace.
Tle central narket lall tlus never turned out to be tle roaring success
tlat was lo¡ed lor. Just a year alter it o¡ened, tle vendors were ollered
rent reductions ol 50 ¡ercent. Fruit lairs were organized in tle lall season
witl tle dual ¡ur¡ose ol increasing lruit consun¡tion and raising ¡ublic
awarness ol tle central narket lall. Lven as tle o¡en air narket at tle
nearby Kungslolnstorg narket¡lace was closed down tle central narket
lall still lad ¡lenty ol vacant stalls.

Already during tle hrst year, tle critisiscn against tle Central Market
Hall was velenent. In a news¡a¡er article on August 2, 1913, it was de-
clared a nistake. Peo¡le were used to going to narket at Hotorget, and
old labits die lard. It would be better to build anotler lall at Hotorget,
tlan to lorce tle ¡ublic and tle lood wlolesale traders to nove into a
lall tlat was certainly vastly su¡erior to tle Hotorget narket lall, but
in tle wrong location. Tle wlolesale traders ¡relerred to be close to tle
retail trade at Hotorget ratler tlan close to tle railway tracks by tle Cen-
tral Market Hall. Tle autlor ol tle article concluded tlat il tle sale ol
32. SCC, a¡¡endix 75}1913.
33. Tilstan, R., Livet i Klarahallarna, ¡. 38-39.
speeding into modernity 109
neat was ¡rolibited at tle o¡en air narkets, tle Central Market Hall
niglt do better. However, tle autlor added tlat it would be ¡relerable
to build a new lall at Hotorget.

On August 23, 1913, tle social denocratic council nenber Anders
Örne accused tle ¡ress and tle riglt wing ¡olitical novenent ol sacrihc-
ing tle ¡ublic good at tle altar ol ¡roht. Tle criticisn cane lron tlose
wlo wisled to buy clea¡ and sell ligl. Örne clained tlat tle riglt wing
and tle riglt wing liberals were ignorant ol tle lygienic advantages ol
tle nunici¡al narket lall, and were only interested in casting doubt on
nunici¡al socialisn. Örne was clearly annoyed, and asked low a nar-
ket lall built lor tle beneht ol ¡rivate enter¡rise, lull ol ¡rivate entre¡re-
neurs, could be inter¡reted as tle hrst ste¡ towards socialisn. He asserted
tlat in due tine even tle conservative lousewives and naids would real-
ize tlat tle Central Market Hall was tle best alternative, as would tle
vendors, wlose goods would be better ¡rotected and less ¡rone to waste,
in nodern, lygienic lacilities.

An advertising can¡aign was launcled in one ol tle biggest norn-
ing ¡a¡ers, DN (tle Daily News). Tle ¡a¡er lad ¡reviously re¡orted in
a critical laslion about tle en¡ty central narket lall. Vitl tle adver-
tising can¡aign bringing in noney and attention to tle ¡a¡er, tle re-
¡orts clanged in claracter. Food slo¡¡ing in tle Central Market Hall
was ever so nucl nicer tlan slo¡¡ing at tle unlygienic, cold Hotorget
narket¡lace. DN re¡orted on tle success ol advertising. tle turnover lad
doubled tle week lollowing tle can¡aign. Tle vendors were la¡¡y, since
nany ol tleir old custoners lad lound tlen again. Tle custoners were
said to be ¡leasantly sur¡rised by tle liglt and agreeable new narket lall.
Sone vendors ex¡lained tlat custoners, wlo lad been lrigltened oll by
tle en¡ty lall, lad now returned. Vlen tlere is bustling lile and con-
nerce, tle custoners are la¡¡y. Tle lousewives agreed, and ¡ointed to
tlat in tle en¡ty narket lall tle vendors stared or called out alter you.
One ol tle lousewives ex¡lained tlat being able to slo¡ around, ins¡ect,
and con¡are itens witlout being solicited all tle tine was ¡art ol tle
¡leasure ol going to a narket lall.
At tlis ¡oint in tine, tlis was not tle
connon ¡ractice in tle slo¡s located around town. Tle slo¡s witl tleir
34. Sandeborg`s scra¡book, vol. 5, ¡. 24.
35. Sandeborg`s scra¡book, vol. 5, ¡. 26. Anders Örne was one ol tle ¡roninent hg-
ures in tle Coo¡erative novenent. By tle tine ol tle debate about tle Central Mar-
ket Hall, le was editor ol Kooperatören (Tle Coo¡erator). He was liglly inßuential,
and worked out tle ideological loundations lor tle luture coo¡erative novenent.
His inßuence even was international in sco¡e. See Aléx, P., Den rationella konsumenten.
36. Sandeborg`s scra¡book, vol. 5, ¡. 40-43.
chapter 5 110
nanual service and tle counter at tle center ol tle roon, did not allow
lor casual window slo¡¡ing or just looking around. You only entered a
slo¡ wlen you lad a s¡ecihc errand or ¡ur¡ose.
Tle advertisnent can¡aign in DN was considered unlair con¡etition
by tle trade journal lor tle retail trade, Köpmannen (Tle Tradesnan),
wlicl called it an outrageous atten¡t by DN in collusion witl tle city
to ¡ronote nunici¡al intervention, to tle naterial disadvantage ol tle
inde¡endent retailers. Tlere was obvious bitter envy ol tle DN can¡aign,
and tle article relerred to anotler journal describing tle in¡ortance ol
advertisnent to attract crowds, and low tlis lad nade tle custoners
ßock to tle Central narket lall.
Tle advertisenent can¡aign lad no
long-lasting ellects lowever, and neitler did tle ban on tle sale ol sensi-
tive loodstulls in 1914. In 1916, tlere were still vacant stalls in s¡ite ol 33
¡ercent reductions in rent.

Tle Director ol tle Abattoir and Market Halls Adninistration, Martin
Sandeborg, con¡lained bitterly over tle criticisn lis adninistration lad
received. He stated tlat tle nation ol Sweden nation was conservative,
overly cautious, and sus¡icious ol new ideas. Munici¡al institutions like
abattoirs, central narket lalls, and tle wlolesale narket lall lor hsl in
Stockloln, were innovations tlat would work well il only given a clance.
City connission agents and lood auctions only worked in large cities like
Paris and Berlin, and even tlere only alter nany years.

Sandeborg was aided by Villeln Hansen, wlo lad been one ol tle
nasterninds belind tle central narket lall, and one ol tle nost ¡roni-
nent detractors ol tle trade under tle o¡en sky. Hansen neant tlat all
tle dilhculties ol tle central narket lall could be traced to tle o¡en air
narkets. Il only tle City Council lad decided to ban all trade under tle
o¡en sky, tlen tle vendors witl tleir establisled clienteles would lave
been lorced into tle Central Market Hall and all would lave been well.
Besides, since 80 ¡ercent ol all tle lood coning into Stockloln cane by
rail, tle location ol tle Central Market Hall was tle nost rational. Suc-
cess would be assured.

Sven Nystedt, tle city veterinarian wlo also wisled to ban all trade
under tle o¡en sky, was nore neasured in lis judgnent. He o¡ined tlat
to lorce tle vendors at tle Hotorget narket¡lace to nove into tle Central
37. Köpmannen, nr 3, 2 February 1914, nr 5, 5 Marcl 1914.
38. Tilstan, R., Livet i Klarahallarna, ¡. 39.
39. Sandeborg, M., Stockholms livsmedelshandel: [Med bilaga:] Livsmedelsfrågen bedömd
av överinspektören för Berlins saluhallar [Spicher]. (Brev från vår utsände korrespondent.), ¡.
40. Sandeborg`s scra¡book, vol. 5, ¡. 29.
speeding into modernity 111
Market Hall was a risk. Tle City Council needed to ¡rove tlat tlis would
lave no ellects on tle ¡rices, to gain tle acquiescence ol tle ¡ublic. It
was in¡ortant to hnd tle riglt balance between tle lygienic denands
ol sale lood and tle social denands ol clea¡ lood, Nystedt ex¡lained. In
¡articular, it was vital to ensure tlat tle ¡rice ol neat did not escalate.

Sandeborg, Hansen and Nystedt were all in lavor ol nore nunici¡al
control and were, in tleir own ways, visionaries. Tley lad all louglt lor
a relorned lood systen, and lad seen tleir anbitions restrained by un-
willing City Council nenbers, slortsiglted vendors, and narrow-ninded
consuners. Tleir a¡¡roacles and tleir ideas were not identical, but tley
slared a beliel in nunici¡al control as tle guarantor ol quality and ra-
Municipal control: securing a food supply
Tle City Council continued to searcl lor ways ol ¡rocuring sale, clea¡,
and abundant lood. Tle nain idea was to sin¡ly ¡rovide tle inlrastruc-
ture best suited to ¡ronote tle inßux ol lood into tle ca¡ital. But tlere
were nore anbitious ¡rojects sucl as ¡ig breeding nanaged by tle nu-
nici¡al autlorities tlenselves, wlicl would at once assure a steady su¡-
¡ly ol clea¡ ¡ork, and dis¡ose ol tle nountains ol garbage tle City lad
to landle. Five lundred ¡igs would eat tle louselold garbage ¡roduced
by tle inlabitants ol Stockloln.
Tle Public Healtl Board lad asked
tle city veterinarian Nystedt and tle Public Healtl Ins¡ector Backlund
to investigate tle result ol tle garbage sorting sclenes introduced in
Gernany. Tle costs lor garbage landling lad dwindled, and, in addition,
tle louselold waste lad been ¡ut to elhcient use as leedstull. Tlis in
turn led ¡ork ¡rices to dininisl. Tle suggestion lron 1906 was investi-
gated by a hve-nenber connittee.
Tlis was indeed a tine ol investigat-
ing lood. tle 1907 Food Connittee was seconded by otler connittees
looking into s¡ecihc issues, like tle ¡ork-louselold-garbage sclene. It is
leasible to inter¡ret tlis as a desire to scientihcally and ¡olitically nanage
society by introducing rational neasurenents ol all as¡ects ol lile.
Tle nunici¡al nanagenent ol lood was lurtler advocated by tle
Food Connittee, wlo wanted to see a nunici¡al dairy as well. Milk lad
becone an increasingly in¡ortant article ol lood. It was a connon be-
liel tlat clildren and young ¡eo¡le needed nilk to becone strong and
41. Sandeborg`s scra¡book, vol. 5, ¡. 18-19.
42. Tle garbage would lave to be sorted into tlree dillerent categories to grant
louselold waste only lor tle ¡igs.
43. SCC, 16}1909.
chapter 5 112
lealtly citizens. Milk took on a synbolic as¡ect, and was dehned as a
natter allecting tle national econony and tlus ol vital in¡ortance.

Tle city veterinarian Nystedt was involved in tlis issue as well. He lad
been on a study tour in Luro¡e and greatly adnired tle central dairies in
Dresden, Hannover, Municl, Vienna, and Buda¡est.
Again, tle en¡la-
sis was on centralized ¡roduction and distribution wlicl would ¡rovide
sale, clea¡ nilk ol good quality to as nany as ¡ossible.

However, tle Food Connittee argued tlat tle current state ol al-
lairs was de¡lorable. Milk s¡read all kinds ol disease sucl as tubercu-
losis, scarlet lever, and di¡ltleria. Also, clildren under tle age ol hve
were over-re¡resented anong tle deatls lron intestinal disorders, wlicl
were nost likely caused by nilk. According to tle Food Connittee, tle
nany niddlenen, tle bad trans¡ortation, and tle lack ol control over
tle entire ¡roduction ¡rocess called lor a nunici¡al dairy. Vitl a nu-
nici¡al dairy, tle nilk trade could be centralized, and tlus nore rational
and nore cost elhcient. Tle strict control ol tle nunici¡al governnent
would ensure better quality, and tle lack ol ¡roht incentives would kee¡
tle ¡rices down. Vitl a nunici¡al dairy ¡roviding a tlird ol all tle nilk
needed by tle Stockloln ¡o¡ulation, tle ¡rivate actors would be lorced
to lollow suit, and tlere would be a general rise in tle nilk quality.

In tle view ol tle Food Connittee, tle lood question was lar too
in¡ortant to be lelt to ¡rivate enter¡rise alone, since all inlabitants in
Stockloln were concerned. Tle City lad a res¡onsibility to oversee tle
lood trade. Tle nunici¡al autlorities slould ¡rovide tle necessary in-
lrastructure. narket lalls, warelouses, and cold storage. A centralized
wlolesale trade witl olhcial ¡rice quotations and city connission agents
would guide ¡rivate business to conlorn to tle ligl norns set by tle
nunici¡al autlorities. Private enter¡rise was unable to do tlis by itsell,
as tle endless quest lor ¡roht would dissi¡ate tle initial entre¡reneur-
ial energy or translorn it into cartels, trusts, and nono¡olies, tle Food
Connittee argued.

44. See lor exan¡le Jonsson, H., Mjölk: en kulturanalys av mejeridiskens nya ekonomi, Lee,
J., °Pastoriseringens lorsenade triun¡lº, Tema: Mat: electronic offprint from LYCHNOS.
Årsbok för idé- och lärdomshistoria., ¡. 175-197, DuPuis, L. M., Nature’s perfect food. How
milk became America’s drink, and Vatin, F., L’industrie du lait. Essai d’histoire économique.
45. Nystedt also visited Koln, Viesbaden, Co¡enlagen, Fredriksberg, Berlin,
Malno, and Kristianstad. He relerred to countries outside Luro¡e like Clile,
Venezuela, Canada, New Zeeland, and Australia as big nilk ¡roducers and con-
46. SCC, a¡¡endix 82}1909.
47. SCC, a¡¡endix 82}1909.
48. SCC, a¡¡endix 179}1912.
speeding into modernity 113
Tle Food Connittee was adanant about nunici¡al involvenent in
tle lood trade. To su¡¡ort tleir view, tley ¡ointed to international ex-
an¡les, ¡articularly Gernany. Tle ¡ublic narket lall systen in Gernany
was rational and elhcient, as denonstrated by Gernan econonists wlo
lad written nunerous dissertations and ¡erlorned tlorougl investiga-
tions on tle subject. Tle Food Connittee used tle international autlor-
ities as leverage in tleir critique ol tle state ol tle narket lall in Stock-
loln. Tle connittee asked wly tle Abattoir and Market Hall Board,
a¡¡ointed by tle City Council already in 1907, lad not nanaged yet to
establisl a ¡ublic narket lall systen, des¡ite tle lact tlat tley lad lad a
nandate to do so lor hve years. Tle AMH Board stated tlat tle critique
was unlounded, and tlat tley lad only lad res¡onsibility lor tle city`s
narket lall systen lor tlree years, and lurtlernore tlat tley wanted to
await tle develo¡nents on tle Stockloln lood narket belore undertak-
ing any leavy investnents.

Buying private market halls
In tle wake ol tle Stockloln Food Act, tle ¡rivate Maria narket lall was
bouglt by tle city. Only twenty-hve out ol tle sixty-hve stalls were occu-
49. SCC, a¡¡endix 179}1912.
5.2 Maria market hall. Malmström, 1924. Stockholms stadsmuseum.
chapter 5 114
¡ied, even tlougl tle rents were lower and tle stalls were bigger tlan in
tle Hotorget narket lall. Tle interior lad hsl basins ol cenent, as¡lalt
ßooring, narble counterto¡s, ceiling liglting, electric and gas liglts, run-
ning water and drainage, and a basenent witl storage lacilities and venti-
lation. It lad been constructed in 1899, but because ol a nisconstructed
rool it already lad danages due to noisture. Tle lood trade in tle nearby
narket¡lace was blaned lor tle great nunber ol vacant stalls. Tle nar-
ket¡lace, lowever, lad its own vacancies. only lorty-two ol tle sixty avail-
able ¡laces lad occu¡ants.
Tle inlabitants ol tle Soutlern island went
lood slo¡¡ing in tle Old Town, wlere tle ¡rices were low, but tle City
Council still decided to buy tle narket lall.
Tle large and luxurious Östernaln narket lall, wlicl lad been built
in 1888, was considered to be in a state ol disre¡air tlat deterred tle City
lron buying it in 1905, and again in 1910. Tle narket lall was also con-
sidered as an un¡roductive enter¡rise witl nany vacant stalls. Il tle City
bouglt tle Östernaln narket lall, tle tenants would surely denand tle
sane ¡rivileges as tle tenants in tle otler lalls, sucl as lree liglting and
water. Tlis neant tlat tle City would not only lose tle tax revenues it
now collected lron tle ¡rivate con¡any, it would also be burdened by
increased costs lor electricity, gas, water, and re¡airs. Negotiations over
tle ¡rice continued until tle City hnally decided to buy tle narket lall
in 1914. Tle lollowing year, tle City ¡ut a ban on tle trade in sensitive
loodstulls at tle nearby narket¡lace.

Anotler snaller and not so ¡rohtable ¡rivate narket lall was u¡ lor
sale tle sane year. Fron tle start in 1890, tle narket lall lad disa¡-
¡ointed its owners, stalls were vacant, revenues were low, and tle cus-
toners lailed to hnd tleir way into tle new narket lall. Tle Hotorget
narket¡lace and Odentorget narket¡laces were but a stone`s tlrow lron
tle unlortunately located Svea narket lall. In addition to tlese nislor-
tunes, tle city ¡lanning was slow, and tle widening ol tle street wlere it
was located was delayed. Tle Director ol tle AMH still wanted tle City
to buy tle Svea narket lall so tlat tle trade in lresl neat at Odentorget
narket¡lace could be banned. Tle City o¡ted lor inaction, and relerred
to ¡lans to construct a narket lall just a lew blocks away. Additonally,
tle Hotorget narket lall was so close tlat tlere would be no inconve-
nience to tle consuners, tle City Council argued.
Tle desire to buy
¡rivate narket lalls nay be inter¡reted as an acce¡tance ol stricter nu-
50. SCC, a¡¡endix 89}1904.
51. SCC, a¡¡endix 72}1914, SCC, a¡¡endix 123}1914.
52. SCC, a¡¡endix 73}1914, SCC, a¡¡endix 124}1914.
speeding into modernity 115
nici¡al control and governance, wlicl was reßected in a nove towards
nore rules and regulations.
Reinforcing rules and regulations
Tle hrst ste¡ towards stricter rules was tle Stockloln Food Act, wlicl
cane into lorce on tle 11tl ol May 1905. Successive anendnents ex-
tended tle sco¡e ol tle Food Act. In ¡articular, nilk was subject to long
discussions. Tle Public Healtl Board wisled to ban tle sale ol nilk and
crean in tle o¡en air as well as in stairwells and lones. Tle Board as-
serted tlat adulterations and lrauds lad been connon, and tlere was
inninnent risk tlat nilk would be contaninated by accident since tle
lygienic conditions were liglly unsatislactory. However, tle City Coun-
cil was nore concerned about nilk ¡rices and securing a steady su¡¡ly,
and consequently relused to con¡ly. Four years later, in 1908, tle Stock-
loln nilk and lood traders (Stocklolns njolk- ocl natvarulorening)
and Stockloln Milk Merclants Association (Stocklolns njolkland-
larelorbund) renewed tle denand to ban all sale ol nilk and crean in
tle o¡en air. Tley were su¡¡orted by tle Public Healtl Board, tle city
veterinarian Nystedt, and tle ¡ublic lealtl ins¡ector Backlund. Tle Pub-
lic Healtl Board relerred to tleir own investigation wlere tle ellects ol
5.3 Hötorget market place, with market hall in the background.
Painting by Erik Tryggelin, 1910. Stockholms stadsmuseum.
chapter 5 116
sucl a ban in otler cities and towns lad ¡roved to be nost benehcial. A
nunber ol cities lad already in¡lenented stricter rules on tle retail sale
ol nilk and crean. Örebro and Karlstad lron 1906, Helsingborg lron
1907, Kristianstad and Gotlenburg lron 1908, and Malno lron 1910.
To illustrate tle danger, tle Public Healtl Board relerred to an outbreak
ol scarlet lever in Stockloln in 1909, wlere tle source ol contanination
lad been identihed as nilk.

Tlere were also otler reasons lor tle desire to create an organized and
rational nilk trade wlere anbulant trade was lorbidden. Tle con¡eti-
tion was severe, and tle ¡roht on nilk neager. Fredrik Benzinger, wlo
was also tle nanaging director ol one ol tle biggest nilk distributors in
Stockloln, ¡ointed out tlat anyone wanting to o¡en a nilk store lad
to obtain ¡ernission lron tle Public Healtl Board, and tle regulations
sti¡ulated lealtly, liglt, s¡acious nilk stores witl satislactory ventila-
tion. Tle ceilings, walls, and ßoors slould be ke¡t clean at all tines, tle
stall lad to wear wlite and observe cleanliness. None ol tlis a¡¡lied to
tle anbulant trade, wlicl unquestionably nust be qualihed as unlair
con¡etition, not to nention its detrinental lyginiec as¡ects. Tle Stock-
loln nilk and lood traders also ¡ointed to tle unlairness and rutlless
con¡etition, as well as tle riglt ol tle ¡ublic to ex¡ect lealtly nilk. In
Novenber 1910, tle City Council a¡¡roved, and nilk could no longer be
sold under tle o¡en sky.

Tle regulation ol tle nilk trade was ol course a natter ol lygiene, as
it was undeniable tlat nilk could be a source ol inlection. But it was also
a natter ol business, wlere dillerent connercial logics clasled. wlere
tle traditional o¡¡osed tle nodern, tle anbulant o¡¡osed tle settled,
and to a certain degree, wlere tle snall-scale o¡¡osed tle large-scale. Tle
City Council was in disagreenent over il and low tle nilk trade slould
be regulated. On tle one land, tlere was a concern to ¡rovide a steady,
clea¡ su¡¡ly ol nilk. On tle otler, tlis nilk needed to be sale and nu-
trious. Tle Public Healtl Board was accused ol lygienic snobbery, but
reluted tle criticisn as unlounded anyone wlo knew anytling about
nilk and lygiene understood tlat it was vital to ¡rotect tle ¡ublic against
adulterated and contaninated nilk.

To acconodate tle denands ol ¡rice and lygiene at tle sane tine,
a Milk Connission a¡¡ointed by tle City Council suggested tlat nilk
slould be sold in sealed rece¡tacles and contain a nininun lat content
ol 2.75 ¡ercent. Tlis atten¡t to standardize and regulate tle nilk trade
53. SCC, 224}1910.
54. SCC, 224}1910.
55. SCC, a¡¡endix 9}1915.
speeding into modernity 117
was leavily criticized by tle Stockloln Milk Merclant Association. Tley
tried to delend tlenselves by a¡¡ealing to tradition, tlat nilk lad always
been sold unskinned and in wlatever quantity tle custoner desired.
Tley also clained tlat tle nilk quality niglt suller il nilk was to be dis-
tributed in sealed rece¡tacles. Tle Stockloln Milk Merclant Association
argued tlat tle accusations ol lraud and adulteration were unlounded.
Tle new regulations would only beneht tle nilk larners and tle nilk
Tle discussions and controversies over wlat constituted quality
regarding nilk are enblenatic ol tle translornations ol tle lood trade.
Tle old traditions were gradually being re¡laced by nodern rationality.
Tle transition towards tle stricter rules tlat lavored a nore nodern
and industrial a¡¡roacl to lood nade use ol old legislation to aclieve a
new lood order. Part ol tlis work was to relornulate dehnitions ol qual-
ity to suit tle new business logics. In ¡articular, tle sale under tle o¡en
sky was targeted as being antitletical to good and wlolesone quality.
Tle by-law lor tle towns ol Sweden ol 1869 actually contained tle ¡os-
sibility ol banning trade in tle o¡en-air narkets. °...alter consulting tle
Stockloln City Council, tle Olhce ol tle Governor ol Stockloln las
tle riglt to ban all trade in lresl, raw neat lron beel, nutton, ¡ork or
lorse, lresl, ßayed gane, ¡lucked ¡oultry, salted or cured neat and ¡ork,
delicatessen, salted or cured hsl, cooked slellhsl, butter and cleese,
bread, ßour and grain or cooked lood il tle nunici¡al autlorities oller
a sulhcient nunber ol stalls in narket lalls or sleds in tle ¡roxinity
ol tle narket¡lace.º
Tlis ¡ossibility was used to ban tle trade at tle
Östernaln narket¡lace and tlus boosted tle trade in tle nearby narket

Already in 1913 tlere lad been a sinilar ban on tle trade at tle Ho-
torget narket¡lace in lavor ol tle vendors inside tle Hotorget narket
lall. Tle debates in tle City Council were intense. Tle detractors ol trade
under tle o¡en sky were adanant tlat neitler consuners nor vendors
understood wlat served tlen best. All trade under tle o¡en sky lad to
56. Tle biggest nilk distributor in Stockloln, Mjolkbolaget, was relerred to as tle
Milk Trust, Mjolktrusten. See SCC, a¡¡endix 138}1915.
57. º...overstatlallaranbetet elter stadslullnaktiges lorande ager genon sarskild
kungorelse lorbjuda landel ned larskt, ratt kott av notkreatur, lar, svin eller last,
larskt ßatt vilt, ¡lockat ljaderla, saltat eller rokt kott ocl ßask, clarkuterivaror, saltad
eller rokt hsk, kokta skaldjur, snor ocl ost, brod, njol eller gryn eller lagad nat ¡a
salutorg, i vars narlet konnunen lor sadan landel u¡¡later erlorderligt antal lasta
ocl tilllalliga lorsaljnings¡latser inon salulall eller saluskjul.º Överstatlallaranbe-
tets kungorelse den 11 januari 1869 ned sarskilda ordningsloreskrilter lor Stock-
loln, ¸ 1 non. 6.
58. SCC, 144}1915.
chapter 5 118
be banned. Tlis was vital to tle lygienic and econonic interest ol tle
city. It was a ¡ity tlat tlis decision lad not been taken a year earlier wlen
tle central narket lall was inaugurated. Il a ban on tle Hotorget nar-
ket¡lace lad been issued tlen, tle Central Market Hall would lave lared
better. Tle su¡¡orters ol tle o¡en air narkets s¡oke ol lygienic snobbery
and voiced concern lor tle ¡oor witl tle ellects on lood ¡rices. Tle issue
ol quality was not on tleir agenda, but ¡rice was.

However, tle era ol o¡en air narkets was coning to a close. Tle new
rules lor tle narket trade were tle result ol ¡ersistent lobbying work.
Tle slo¡owners in narket lalls and around town resented tle con¡e-
tition lron tle o¡en air narkets, and continually de¡icted tle vendors
tlere as quarrelsone troublenakers wlo only wisled to avoid taxation
and sell second-rate goods at ¡reniun ¡rices. In 1915, Mr Lind subnit-
ted a bill to restrict tle trade at tle o¡en air narkets and linit it to real
larners and national ¡roducts only.
By 1917, tle o¡en air narkets were
dehnitely losing ground. Market¡laces were seen hrst and lorenost as a
¡lace lor real larners selling tleir own ¡roduce. It was no longer ¡ernit-
ted to sell donestic ¡roducts on connission, and no in¡orted or nanu-
lactured goods were allowed. Tle ban cane into lorce in 1918, since tle
City Council lad constructed ten¡orary narket lalls to grant stalls lor
tle vendors lron tle narket¡lace.
In a sense, tle lall ol tle o¡en air
narket could be inter¡reted as tle triun¡l ol tle narket lall since nar-
ket lalls were being constructed to acconnodate tle street vendors. Tle
triun¡l was illusory and e¡leneral. Tle retail narket lall was about to
itsell decline.
The tide is turning: retail
market halls under criticism
In 1910, a bill was subnitted to tle City Council to renove tle Nytorget
narket lall and re¡lace it witl a ¡leasant, nodern towngarden. Tle Ab-
attoir and Market Hall Board ¡relerred to await tle general guidelines lor
tle narket¡lace and narket lall systen belore giving tleir hnal answer,
but since tle Nytorget narket lall was un¡rohtable, it could certainly be
dis¡osed ol. Only tlree out ol ten stalls were occu¡ied, and tle lall was
in need ol re¡air. In June 1914, tle City Council agreed witl tle AMH
Board, and tle narket lall was to be re¡laced by a garden.
Tlat tlere
59. SCC, 338}1913, SCC, a¡¡endix 197}1913, SCC, writ 350}1913.
60. SCC, bill 18}1915.
61. SCC, 288}1917.
62. SCC, bill 4}1910, SCC 135}1914.
speeding into modernity 119
were contending ways ol ex¡ressing civic ¡ride was not new. Vlat was
new was tlat not even tle AMH Board atten¡ted to ¡reserve an existing
narket lall. To be sure, tle lall lad always been a ten¡orary arrange-
nent, an old hre louse converted into sonetling nore akin to a narket
sled tlan a ¡ro¡er narket lall. However, tle AMH Board did not clain
tlat any ¡articular ¡lans were nade to secure a luture narket lall, wlicl
niglt indicate tlat tle attitude towards retail narket lalls was becon-
ing less lavorable.
Over a decade later, tle situation was dehnitely turning against re-
tail narket lalls. Tle narket lall on Hotorget was cold and dralty, and
increasingly run down. In 1924, a bill was subnitted to denolisl it and
nove tle tenants to tle Central Market Hall, wlicl was su¡erior on eco-
nonic and lygienic grounds. Perla¡s tle building could be noved to
sone suburb wlere it could still be ol use.
Tle Hotorget square was
called tle nost lideous ol all Stockloln`s squares, largely owing to tle
dila¡idated narket lall tlat gave tle ¡lace a squalid claracter. Tle nar-
ket lall looked older and nore run down in con¡arison witl tle newly
constructed Concert Hall. Tlis called lor a general restoration ol tle en-
tire square, and various ¡ro¡osals were discussed in tle ¡ress and at tle
City Council.
Nevertleless, tle City Council decided against noving tle
narket lall, o¡ting instead to re¡air it. Tle sun was deened unsatislac-
tory by one ol tle nenbers ol tle City Council, J. P. Pelrsson, wlo was in
lavor ol constructing nore narket lalls. He also wanted to see extensive
renovations ol tle existing ones. Pelrsson con¡lained tlat tle narket
lalls in Stockloln were in a state ol anarcly, witl tle tenants ¡ainting
tleir stalls in all colors ol tle rainbow, since tle City did not take its
res¡onsibility as landlord.
Tle narket lall was under attack, yet tlere
were tlose wlo still wisled to see nore nunici¡al investnents to set tle
systen back on track. But tle rationality ol tle wlole venture was being
called into question nore and nore olten.
By 1927, tle City lad given u¡ on tle Maria narket lall. It was old
and run down and only 35 out ol 63 stalls were taken. Tle results ol tle
Maria narket lall lad always been unsatislactory. Fron 1911 to 1922, it
was o¡erated at a loss. Only tle years 1923-1925 generated any ¡rohts,
but in 1926, it again incurred a loss. Tle turnover renained too low de-
s¡ite an advertisenent can¡aign and broclures landed out in tle neigl-
borlood. Il tle narket lall was denolisled, it could be re¡laced witl a
63. SCC, bill 44}1924.
64. ºInga Potenkin-kulisser lranlor Hotorgslallenº 12 February 1924, Sandeborg`s
scra¡book, vol. 6.
65. SCC, City ninutes 20 Decenber 1927.
chapter 5 120
lousing con¡lex. Tle vendors could easily hnd alternate locations lor
tleir stores, tle AMH board declared.

Tle tenants argued tlat tlis would larn 40 lanilies wlo would lose
tleir only source ol incone. Tle Maria narket lall lad a nission during
tines ol de¡ression wlen tle City Council lad used it to serve tle ¡oor
and unen¡loyed. Tle reason tle revenues were dininisling was tlat
tle City lad not ke¡t tle narket lall in re¡air. Tle tenants sus¡ected
tlat tley were sacrihed to give way to a notion ¡icture tleater, a ¡lace ol
Tle City Council answered tle tenants tlat narble coun-
ter to¡s, glass dis¡lays, cold storage, and otler lygienic necessessities
would lave to be installed in order lor tle narket lall to be able to con-
¡ete witl tle surrounding lood stores. Sucl an extensive nodernization
and renovation ol tle narket lall would entail nassive rent increases. To
nake natters worse lor tle tenants, tle vast najority ol tle City Council
was in lavor ol denolisling tle Maria Market Hall.

Rescuing the market hall?
In 1923, a bill was subnitted by a broad coalition in tle City Council to
construct new narket lalls around Stockloln. Menbers lron tle riglt
to tle lelt ol tle ¡olitical s¡ectrun lad joined togetler in tlis ¡ro¡osal.

Concerns lor ¡ublic lealtl and tle beauty ol tle urban landsca¡e were
cited as reasons lor constructing new narket lalls. Tle suggested loca-
tions lor narket lalls were Sodra Bantorget, Nytorget, Hogalid ¡ark in
Sodernaln, Odengatan, and Halsingetorget in Vasastan. In addition, tle
Maria narket lall was in need ol serious renovation.

On tle 20tl ol May 1925, tle director ol tle narket lall advised tlat
sites slould innediately be allocated lor tle construction ol narket
lalls at Sodra Bantorget, Nytorget, Hogalid ¡ark, Odentorget, S.t Lrik-
s¡lan, and tle area between Roslagsgatan, Odengatan, and Tulegatan.

66. SCC, 79}1927.
67. Tlis was actually tle case wlen tle Maria narket lall was torn down, and Joln
A. Bergendall, wlo was a legendary owner ol novie tleaters in Stockloln, built tle
Rio Tleater in its ¡lace.
68. SCC, 79}1927.
69. Tle ¡etition was signed by Clr. Sjostron, Vallr. Allstron, Gertrud Tornell,
Hanna Gronvall, J.A. Vallin, Jolan Östberg, Lrik Forssberg, G. Vall, Sven Falk, Llis-
abetl Östnan-Sundstrand, Rutl Gustalson, Fredrik Stron, K Kilbon, and Nils L
70. SCC, bill 31}1923.
71. Tlese locations rouglly corres¡ond to tle ones suggested in tle SCC bill
speeding into modernity 121
In addition to tlis, it was necessary to allocate s¡ace lor narket lalls in
tle new areas on Kungslolnen.

Tle hrst lall to be investigated was tle one near Odentorget. Arcli-
tect Lrik As¡lund, wlo lad recently designed tle new City Library, was
connissioned to subnit a ¡ro¡osal. He integrated tle new design witl
tle library, and gave it tle sla¡e ol a low bazaar building running ¡aral-
lel witl tle Odengatan street, leaving six neters in between tle 36 stalls
and tle street wlere ßowers could be sold in tle sunner. Tle idea was
tlat tle design ol tle narket lall would attract tle crowds by virtue ol
being visible and accessible. According to As¡lund, tle bazaar quality ol
tle building would leave roon lor big windows lacing tle street, wlicl
would nake all tle stalls equally attractive. Tle low building lad tle ad-
ditional beneht ol accentuating tle najestic quality ol tle lill belind
it, tlus naking tle ¡ark stand out even nore. Tle sane ellect would
enlance tle arclitectural qualities ol tle City Library. Still, tle narket
lall would only be a ¡rovisional arrangenent awaiting tle ex¡ansion ol
tle City Library.

By 1926, tle narket lall director lad clanged lis nind. He relerred
to Berlin and low tle retail narket lalls lad not been as successlul as
could lave been ex¡ected. It would be better to wait lor indications ol a
verihable need belore constructing retail narket lalls. He also stated tlat
even wlen everytling seened to be in lavor ol a narket lall, it could still
lail, as in tle case ol tle Maria narket lall. Tle nodern ex¡ectations
ol luxury and conlort neant tlat tle consuners ex¡ected lavisl lood
stores selling every lood in every neiglborlood. Tlis reßected a wisl to
elininate tine and s¡ace in tle nane ol convenience, wlicl tle director
lound liglly ina¡¡ro¡riate. Private store owners lad souglt to satisly
tle extravagant ex¡ectations ol tle consuners, and tle ¡rivate stores
now resenbled ninitature narket lalls. However, tlis was witlout tle
con¡etition in tle ¡ublic narket lalls, tle director acidly ¡ointed out.
Tlat tle retail narket lall lad no luture, as lad been asserted in certain
business circles, was ¡robably an exaggeration. Tle ¡ublic narket lalls
lad a nission. to counteract tle nodern store luxury and kee¡ down tle
lood ¡rices.

Tle idea tlat ¡ublic narket lalls were ¡rinarily an instrunent to
kee¡ down tle lood ¡rices, secure lood su¡¡ly, and organize tle lood
trade, was conhrned in tle olhcial journal ol Svenska stadslorbundet
72. SCC, 80}1927.
73. SCC, 80}1927.
74. SCC, 80}1927.
chapter 5 122
(tle Swedisl Town Association).
In 1925, tle journal discussed tle role
ol tle ¡ublic narket lall, and low it tended to generate a sur¡lus lor tle
nunici¡al autlorities, des¡ite tle lact tlat tlis was not its ¡rinary rai-
son d`être. Tle Swedisl cities and towns wlere ¡ublic narket lalls were
already in ¡lace were nentioned.
In addition, tle journal nentioned
tle ¡laces wlere narket lalls were under investigation, or wlere ¡rivate
actors lad ste¡¡ed in,
as well as wlere tley lad voted against tle con-
struction ol ¡ublic narket lalls.
Tle journal ¡ointed to tle occurrence
ol s¡ecial hsl narket lalls in tle bigger cities, but tlere was no relerence
to tle division between retail and wlolesale.

Two years later, tle journal wondered il tle narket lall systen was
lalling out ol use in tle bigger towns. Tle to¡ic was induced by tle de-
bates in tle Stockloln City Council over tle luture ol retail narket lalls
and tle decision to close down tle Maria narket lall. Tle journal still
re¡orted about otler towns, and low several were investigating tle con-
struction ol ¡ublic narket lalls, as well as low sone towns actually de-
cided to build.
Market lalls were not ex¡licitly nentioned lor a cou¡le
ol years in tle journal, but tle 1927 article reßects tle ¡olitical outlook
on narket lalls at tle tine. Tle unaninous consensus ol tle earlier years
wlere tle narket lall was described as °an in¡erative ¡ublic need,º
even tle tine ol uncritical a¡¡raisal ol tle narket lall as a general ¡ublic
were called into question. Still, new ¡ro¡osals and suggestions
were subnitted to tle town councils, and new connittees were a¡¡oint-
ed to investigate tle question ol building new narket lalls.
In Stockloln, suggestions lor building narket lalls on Odentorget
and Sodra Bantorget recurred again in 1927, witl new bills lron Mr J.P.
Pelrsson. He denanded new narket lalls or bazaars, as well as a tlor-
75. Svenska stadsförbundets tidskrift. Organ för Sveriges städer, köpingar och municipalsam-
hällen, Svenska stadslorbundet, Stockloln, 1909-1967.
76. Stockloln, Goteborg, Malno, Halsingborg, Örebro, Lskilstuna, U¡¡sala, Karls-
krona, Lund, Karlstad, Landskrona, Kalnar, Falun, Kristianstad, Vastervik, Ystad,
Lulea, Lidko¡ing, Karlslann, Tranas, Motala, Ronneby, and Skanninge.
77. Boras, Halnstad and Trolllattan. In Uddevalla a ¡rivate initiative was under
78. Kristianstad, Vaxjo, Vanersborg, Oskarslann, and Arvika.
79. Svenska stadsförbundets tidskrift. Organ för Sveriges städer, köpingar och municipalsam-
hällen, Svenska stadslorbundet, Stockloln, 1909-1967, 1925.295.
80. Svenska stadsförbundets tidskrift. Organ för Sveriges städer, köpingar och municipalsam-
hällen, Svenska stadslorbundet, Stockloln, 1909-1967, 1927.256-58.
81. Svenska stadsförbundets tidskrift. Organ för Sveriges städer, köpingar och municipalsam-
hällen, Svenska stadslorbundet, Stockloln, 1909-1967, 1923.271-2.
82. Svenska stadsförbundets tidskrift. Organ för Sveriges städer, köpingar och municipalsam-
hällen, Svenska stadslorbundet, Stockloln, 1909-1967, 1925.295.
speeding into modernity 123
ougl renovation ol tle existing narket lalls. He received su¡¡ort lron
Mr Konrad Llnéus, wlo wanted tle City to at least construct ten¡orary
narket bazaars il real narket lalls were too ex¡ensive. Two alternative
¡ro¡osals lor narket lalls on Sodra Bantorget were ¡ut belore tle City
Council. Tle city veterinarian advised against one on tle grounds tlat it
did not neet tle lygienic standards to be con¡lied witl, and tle Abat-
toir and Market Hall Board lined u¡ against tle otler, on tle grounds
tlat it was too ex¡ensive and tlat it would be dilhcult to hnd tenants.
In tleir view, tle existing Maria narket lall was to be slut down due to
lack ol tenants and its vendors lad lad no dilhculties in hnding suit-
able store ¡renises, wlicl indicated tlat tle vendors ol Sodra Bantorget
would hnd locations just as easily. Tle consuners would lardly notice
tle closure ol tle Maria narket lall or tle o¡en-air narket in Sodra
Bantorget. tle city was lull ol lood stores. Tle Abattoir and Market Hall
Board strongly advised against tle construction ol any new narket lalls
or bazaars, and relused to allocate any resources to tle construction ol
new retail narket lalls.

The middleman
Tle niddlenan was gaining nonentun. No longer benoaned as a
useless ¡rohteer, tle niddlenan was de¡icted as a necessary link in an
increasingly con¡lex clain ol distribution. According to tle Ponologi-
cal Society ol Sweden (Sveriges ¡onologiska lorening), it was an anti-
quated idea tlat tle best way ol ensuring low ¡rices was to cut out tle
niddlenan and only allow ¡roducers tlenselves to sell directly to tle
consuner. Ratler, tle Society wisled to see a relorned distribution sys-
ten. Tle larner lad better concentrate lis ellorts on ¡roducing lood,
and let a s¡ecialist nanage tle distribution side. Tlis would be tle nost
rational and nodern way ol nanaging tle urban lood su¡¡ly. Also, witl
niddlenen, lood could be trans¡orted lron alar, and tle tyranny ol lo-
cal su¡¡ly could be broken. Local su¡¡ly neant tlat tle consuners were
at tle nercy ol local conditions and seasons, and cro¡ lailures entailed
constantly ßuctuating ¡rices. It also neant tlat a lot ol growers were cut
out lron tle ¡rohtable Stockloln narket. Mass su¡¡ly ol lood lron all
over Sweden would surely beneht larners lron all ¡arts ol tle country, as
well as tle consuners. Mass su¡¡ly was nodern, tle Ponological Society

83. SCC, 80}1927, SCC, 340B}1927.
84. SCC, 404}1920.
chapter 5 124
A nass su¡¡ly would guarantee stable ¡rices and a constant inßux
ol lood. Vlat was needed was a centralized distribution, witl a central
wlolesale narket lall, an auction lall and a suitable tralhc instrastruc-
ture. Furtlernore, tle Ponological Society argued tlat tle growers
slould endeavour to ¡ack tleir ¡roduce in a con¡letely unilorn way to
lacilitate tle centralization ellorts. It was also a question ol overconing
tle old ¡rejudices ol tle narketgarderners in Stockloln, wlo leared tlat
tleir revenues would dininisl witl increasing con¡etition lron growers
lron tle rest ol tle country. But tle consuners needed guidance as well,
as now tley leared tlat niddlenen would increase ¡rices. As a result,
consuners ¡relerred to nake tleir ¡urclases at tle o¡en air narkets in-
stead ol slo¡¡ing exclusively in narket lalls and slo¡s, tle latter being
surely nucl nore rational and nodern.

Tle ¡ro¡osal lron tle Ponological Society tlat tle Stockloln City
Council slould a¡¡oint a connittee to investigate tle su¡¡ly and sale
ol garden ¡roduce was not necessary, tle City council re¡lied, since tle
Minister ol Agriculture lad already a¡¡ointed a Middlenen Connittee
(Mellanlandssakkunnige) on tle 16tl ol July 1920, wlicl would look
into issues ol storgage, trans¡ort, and distribution ol goods, as well as tle
ellect ol cartels, trusts, and clain slo¡s on tle retail ¡rices ol lood. Tle
Abattoir and Market Hall Board agreed witl tle suggestions lron tle Po-
nological Society, but con¡lained tlat tleir own ellorts were lan¡ered
by various re¡resentatives ol tle lood trade wlo objected to any regula-
tory neasures, and tlus in¡eded any ellort towards a nore unilorn lood
narket in Stockloln. Vlolesale narkets, city connission agents, and
regulations ¡ertaining to lood auctions were dilhcult to establisl in tlis
anti-regulatory clinate, tle Abattoir and Market Hall Board ex¡lained.

On June 17, 1922 tle Middlenen Connittee subnitted tleir hnal
Tle connittee was to investigate tle inßuence ol tle niddle-
nen on tle ¡rice levels in Sweden. Tle ¡rice levels ol tle wartine crises
renained long alter tle war lad ended. Tle regulations ¡ut into ¡lace
85. SCC, 404}1920.
86. SCC, 404}1920.
87. Mellanlandssakkunnige (1922) Mellanhandssakkunniges betänkande angående
olägenheterna vid mellanhandssystemet inom livsmedelshandeln. Stockloln. Tle connit-
tee nenbers were all ¡roninent nen. Gustal Leulvén, nanager ol Sweden`s Gen-
eral Agricultural Society (Sveriges Allnanna Lantbrukssallska¡), Llol B Andersson,
Stockloln county council nenber, Axel Dallstron, Goteborg city council nenber,
Hugo Heynan, Director ol tle National Board ol Healtl and Vellare, Albin Jolans-
son, business nanager at tle Coo¡erative Movenent, G Gerlard Magnusson, bank
nanager, and hnally, Per Henning Sjoblon, nenber ol tle Second Clanber ol tle
speeding into modernity 125
during tle First Vorld Var lad in lact created a structure tlat initially
benehtted tle niddlenen, even alter tle regulations were abandoned.
Tle situation clanged wlen tle econonic boon ol tle early 1920s was
lollowed by a recession.
Tle Connittee was reluctant to reconnend any coercive neasures
regarding distribution natters. However, tle way tle coo¡erative nove-
nent was organized seened to reduce tle negative ellects ol tle niddle-
nan and beneht botl ¡roducers and consuners, tle connittee conclud-
ed, and lo¡ed lor nore initiatives along tle sane lines. A nunici¡al ¡rice
statistics board tlat would ¡ublisl quotations weekly would ¡robably
work to a¡¡ly downward ¡ressure on ¡rices. One ol tle nain ¡roblens
seened to be tlat tlere were sin¡ly too nany retailers wlose turnover
was insulhcient to generate any reasonable ¡rohts lor tle owners. Tlis
contributed to tle staggering lood ¡rices. Consuner credit was anotler
¡roblenatic issue tlat lan¡ered tle rational organization ol tle retail
trade. Tle wlolesale trade also sullered lron ligl costs, witl trans¡or-
tation as one ol tle nain cul¡rits. But, tle Connittee ¡ointed out, tle
overly strict lygienic regulations ol tle lood trade also ¡usled ¡rices u¡-
wards. Munici¡al autlorities slould assune tle overall res¡onsibility lor
tle lood distribution, and tlus tley needed to ¡lan lor narket lalls and
sleds, as well as lor an in¡roved trans¡ortation inlrastructure.
Tle Director ol tle AMH Board, Martin Sandeborg, was sur¡rised at
tle criticisn lron tle Middlenen Connitttee. He could not see low tle
AMH board lad been overzealous in lygienic neasures. He was also criti-
cal ol ¡rice statitics boards, and lound tlat tle ¡ractice ol ¡ublisling tle
nanes ol tlose wlo lad overly ligl ¡rices was unsuitable. In tlis le was
su¡¡orted by tle Central Board ol Adninistration, wlo clained tlat tle
¡rice statistics boards lad lad no ellect during tle war. Ol course, it was
ol utnost in¡ortance to counter cartels and trusts, but lere tle coo¡era-
tive novenent would ¡lay tle role ol ¡rice regulator.

Gravitating towards wholesale market halls
Tle AMH Board ¡roclained tlat tle nunici¡al narket lall systen lad
undergone substantial clanges, es¡ecially since tle end ol tle First Vorld
Var. Tle urban lood systen now relied nostly on stores. Tle lygienic and
econonic advantages ol a nore controlled and well-organized lood trade
were ¡rovided lor by tle coo¡erative stores, tle large clain stores, and tle
88. SCC, 301}1922.
89. SCC, 301}1922.
90. SCC, 301}1922.
chapter 5 126
de¡artnent stores, wlicl lad nade tle retail narket lalls su¡erßuous.
Tle nunici¡al autlorities and tle Abattoir and Market Hall Board lad
better a¡¡ly tleir ellorts to organize tle wlolesale ol lood, wlicl still
lad severe slortconings. Neitler tle Abattoir and Market Hall Board
nor tle City Council saw any reason to undertake tle construction ol
new narket lalls. It was sulhcient to naintain tle existing narket lalls
and tlus concentrate tle ellorts on tle wlolesale narket lalls.
Tlis gravitation towards tle wlolesale narket lalls was noticed by
tle journal ol tle Swedisl Town Association in 1930. Tle decline ol ¡ub-
lic narket lalls in tle bigger cities was ratler a clange ol course in tle
direction ol wlolesale, tle journal concluded. As evidence, tle journal
¡ointed to tle ¡ro¡osal in 1928 lron tle AMH board lor a new wlolesale
narket lall. Tle journal also nade relerence to tle 1925 bill lor central-
izing tle wlolesale lood trade in Stockloln. Tle narket garderners ol
Stockloln and tle Swedisl National Association lor Agriculture (SAL)
lad asked tle AMH board to organize tle wlolesale trade ol garden ¡ro-
duce in ¡articular. SAL was worried about tle lack ol inlrastructure and
tle ellect on tle lood ¡rices in tle ca¡ital. Trade in tle o¡en air narkets
was unlygienic, irrational and outdated. Tley were also severely under-
sized. Tle narket lalls were also outdated, and lacked sulhcient nodern
cold storage.
During tle 1920s, tlere lad been discussions about constructing a
wlolesale narket lall lor neat, just like tlere was one lor hsl. In 1926,
tle AMH board decided to build a wlolesale narket lall next to tle CSH.
Tle alternative was to redesign tle CSH or build at Norra Bantorget. Al-
ter a year, tle trade re¡resentatives could still not agree u¡on tle best
location and tle decision was ¡ost¡oned. Tle CSH, wlicl still lad over
tlirty en¡ty stalls, gradually turned into a wlolesale narket lall in 1928
wlen eiglt neat wlolesale dealers noved in. Anotler tlree noved in
tle lollowing year, along witl two lruit and green and one hsl wlolesale

Tle wlolesale claracter ol tle CSH was reinlorced by tle lood auc-
tions leld in tlere. Tle in¡ort ol lruit by rail increased during tle 1920s.
Belore tlat, nost lruit lad cone by boat and only in snall quantities. Tle
lruit consun¡tion steadly increased in tle interwar years, rising slar¡ly
by tle end ol tle 1930s. Tle o¡ening in 1927 ol tle lree ¡ort, Frilannen,
boosted tle lruit in¡orts lurtler.

91. SCC, 80}1927, SCC, 340B}1927.
92. Tilstan, R., Livet i Klarahallarna, ¡. 39-40.
93. Tilstan, R., Livet i Klarahallarna, ¡. 89-90.
speeding into modernity 127
Tle cold storage warelouses tlat tle 1907 Food Connittee lad rec-
onnended were not constructed, but by tle late 1930s, tle area around
tle Central Market Hall lad turned into tle wlolesale lub ol Stockloln
and would renain so until tle new wlolesale area in Årsta was inaugu-
rated in 1962.
Tle translornation towards nore locus on centralizing
tle wlolesale trade was tle result ol long debates. Tle debates reßected
an increasing division between retail and wlolesale, wlere tle wlolesale
trade noved hrst in tle direction ol rationalization. In Novenber 1925, a
bill was subnitted to tle City Council denanding a centralized wlolesale
trade in Stockloln. Tle lood ¡rices in tle ca¡ital were still lorrendous.
As an exan¡le, tle bill nentioned low tle ¡rice ol carrots could be u¡ to
tlree tines as ex¡ensive in Stockloln as in Malno in Soutlern Sweden.
Nunerous in¡rovenents and relorns were suggested. Food slould be
sold by weiglt, not by ¡iece or in bundles. Quality and grade slould be
well-s¡ecihed and standardized. Public ¡rice quotations lor tle wlolesale
narkets were ¡resented as absolutely essential.
In 1929, tle City Council decided to build tle wlolesale narket lalls
in Klara. Tle city ¡lan lad to be altered, tle tenants in tle existing louses
were evicted, and tle arclitects consulted. Tle narket gardeners were un-
la¡¡y and con¡lained, but by tlat tine, tle luture ol tle Klara wlole-
sale narket lall was already decided.
Tle synbolic transition lron re-
tail to wlolesale narket lalls as tle locus lor nunici¡al involvenent and
res¡onsibility can be inter¡reted as a new neaning given to tle conce¡t
ol wlat constituted nodern lood trade, and as to low o¡tinal quality
was to be ascertained, witl autlentic goods being distributed in tle nost
rational laslion ¡ossible.
94. Nordin, C., Oordning, ¡. 238-239, Tilstan, R., Livet i Klarahallarna, ¡. 40.
95. Tilstan, R., Livet i Klarahallarna, ¡. 49-50, SCC, bill 19}1925.
96. Tilstan, R., Livet i Klarahallarna, ¡. 50-52.
Waning symbolic power:
how the market hall lost
its allure of modernity
Tle narket lalls in Sweden never becane tle roaring success tlat we saw
in Great Britain, France, or tle US. So wly did tle narket lall ¡roject lail
in Stockloln· In ¡art it niglt be a question ol tining. Tle construction
ol tle narket lall systens and tle renovation ol tle ¡ublic narkets and
o¡en-air narkets in tle rest ol tle Vestern world ¡receded tle develo¡-
nents in Sweden by at least twenty to tlirty years. Tle tine lag in Sweden
was nost ¡robably due to tle lact tlat Sweden becane urbanized later in
con¡arison to tle UK and continental Luro¡e, or even lor tlat natter,
tle US. Vitl tle US tlere is also a dillerence ol scale. tle new lrontiers
and tle new cities establisled in tle US still lad little in connon witl
tle urban develo¡nent in Sweden, tle US was botl a big country and
a country ol innigration, lull ol inßuences lron near and lar, wlereas
Sweden was botl a snall country and a country ol enigration, dreading
tle drain ol tle country`s nost resourcelul and industrious inlabitants.
In tlis sense, we can inter¡ret it as tle dillerence between tle ¡ioneering
s¡irits ol tle new world contrasted witl tle enigration debate ol tle old
All ol tlese lactors contributed to tle delay in tle construction ol
narket lalls in Stockloln. Additionally, narket lalls were in nost cases
130 coda
great ¡ublic works hnanced by a slow-noving city council, reluctant to
s¡end tax noney on big ¡rojects like narket lalls wlen tle city needed so
nany otler inlrastructural investnents. Tlis, ol course, is not s¡ecihc to
tle Swedisl context. City councils and city adninistrations ol tle nine-
teentl century lad a weak tax base and were in nany cases corru¡t or
ine¡t. As an exan¡le ol low tle ¡rivate narket lalls lared, Östernalns-
lallen, wlicl was constructed very ra¡idly, did not turn out to be tle
s¡ectacular success its ¡ronoters were lo¡ing to see. Lventually tle city
took over res¡onsibility lor tle catledral ol lood in tle new bourgeois
neiglborlood ol Östernaln.
Still, tle construction ol narket lalls in Sweden and in tle rest ol
tle Vestern world can be inter¡reted as tle triun¡l ol science in urban
¡lanning. Urban ¡lanning was a ¡owerlul tool, and in its service it lad all
tle benehts ol tle new scientihc and teclnical innovations. Tle urban
landsca¡es becane cleaner and nore orderly, tle narket louses were in-
creasingly standardized and tle wlolesale and retail trades were gradu-
ally conhned to se¡arate buildings ol distinct claracter. As lar as ¡ossible
tley were connected by rail to avoid cunbersone trans¡orts lron tle
railway stations. Arclitects and engineers were working witl tle ¡ublic
olhcials to construct tle nost rational and elhcient distribution systen
to serve tle urban inlrastructure.
Ol course, tlis develo¡nent was in no
way unanbiguous or straigltlorward. Con¡eting alternatives and reti-
cence claracterized tle ¡rocess.
Vlat is renarkable is low little in¡act tle construction ol tle nar-
ket lalls in Sweden lad on tle conten¡orary Swedisl arclitectural de-
bate. Tlis niglt be attributed to tle relative lailure ol tle narket lalls.
Tle narket lalls never attained tle sane in¡act as in Great Britain lor
exan¡le. However, des¡ite tle lact tlat tle narket lall did not nake a
great in¡ression on tle arclitectural debate, on wlat was desirable or
undesirable in terns ol lorns ol distribution and consun¡tion s¡aces
at tle end ol tle nineteentl and beginning ol tle twentietl century, we
can still say sonetling about tle direction tle narket lall was taking
tle retail trade into. Tle debate over tle value ol tle narket lalls took
¡lace nore in tle city councils, wlere tlose concerned about lygiene and
a nore orderly trade lad an¡le roon to ex¡ress tleir views. Tle lact tlat
tle retail trade needed to be regulated and organized was recognized as a
¡roblen at tle nunici¡al level, and actions were taken tlat contributed
to naking tle retail systen nore colerent and nore ¡redictable. Tle
retail systen was accon¡anied by a systen ol nunici¡al regulation and
control, but also a systen ol nore nodern connercial trade ¡ractices.
1. Tangires, H., Public Markets and Civic Culture, ¡. 172.
131 waning symbolic power
Tle creation ol tle narket lalls can tlus be seen as ¡art ol a novenent
lron a traditional guild systen to a nodern ca¡italist systen.
In tlis ¡rocess a certain ty¡e ol store}consun¡tion culture was tle
ideal and tle ain. In tle new, nore so¡listicated narket lalls botl ven-
dors and custoners were su¡¡osed to belave in a nanner tlat suited
tle ideals ol low you belave in an urban consun¡tion s¡ace. To aclieve
tlis, tle status ol tle vendor lad to be elevated, but tle actual vendors
also needed to conlorn and becone tle well-¡olisled, well-bred, accon-
nodating trades¡eo¡le tlat ideally o¡erated witlin tlese consun¡tion
In ¡arallel witl tle slow construction ol tle narket lalls, exclusive
grocery stores lad establisled tlenselves at dillerent locations in town.
Perla¡s ¡art ol tle answer as to wly tle narket lall systen never lad tle
sane inßuence in Sweden as abroad is because tle exclusive delicatessen
and grocery stores lad already taken u¡ tle nicle tlat narket lalls could
take in otler countries. Delicatessens and stores like tle lanous grocers
Arvid Nordquist or Axel Boive and tleir conten¡oraries were serving a
clientele tlat could lave been ten¡ted by exclusive narket lalls or lood
lalls in tle great de¡artnent stores. In London, Paris, New York and
sinilar cosno¡olitan cities, tlere was nore roon lor a luxury narket.
Tle narket in Stockloln was not big enougl lor botl exclusive grocery
stores and a nunber ol exclusive narket lalls.
So wly didn`t tle exclusive grocers nove into tle beautilul and nod-
ern narket lalls· Il we look at tle elegant grocery stores in tradenark
terns, we see tlat grocery stores were olten naned alter tle owner as
a way to nark wlo you were. Tle owner was tle guarantor ol quality
and lis good nane was tle tradenark, tle assurance seal tle custoner
needed, and tle label ol quality souglt alter. Tle re¡utation ol tle hrn
was tle biggest ca¡ital, a tradenark to be carelully nanaged. Tlis niglt
be a reason wly nany ol tle u¡scale grocery store owners stayed out ol
tle narket lalls.
Tle narket lalls in tle hrst ¡eriod were con¡eting against tle o¡en
air narkets outside, but also against tle u¡scale grocery stores and tle
de¡artnent stores. Tlere was a veritable cocktail ol con¡etition. tle
vibrant o¡en air narkets, and tleir abundant assortnent, tle elegant
de¡artnent store NK, wlicl also tried to create an urban roon lor tle
energing bourgeoisie, and tle exclusive grocery stores, witl tleir knowl-
edge and ¡ersonal service, all catering to tle sane bourgeois custoners.
In trying to satisly too nany dillerent tastes at tle sane tine, tle narket
lall ended u¡ ¡leasing no one.
Part 2
Dreams of rationality:
the decline of the market hall
Tle idea belind tlis ¡art ol tle dissertation is to understand tle void,
tle non-discourse on tle narket lall. Vly is tlere a void· Vlat ex¡lains
tle absence ol narket lalls in tle ¡ublic debates· Vlat is it in tlis ¡e-
riod tlat eventually lays tle loundation lor tle return ol tle narket lall·
Part 2 is dillerent lron botl ¡art 1 and 3. tle ¡ur¡ose is to trace tle
general trends and tendencies. As a result, tle analysis relies nore on ex-
isting literature. Vlat is ol interest lere is hrst and lorenost tle overall
retail landsca¡e in wlicl tle narket lall lell lron grace. In order to un-
derstand it we also need to look at tle wider context in wlicl tle retail
revolution took ¡lace. nodernity. Tle literature on Swedisl nodernity
in its entirety is vast and no atten¡t is nade to cover all ol it. Instead,
lragnents ol tle researcl on nodernity will be used as a backdro¡ to tle
consun¡tion landsca¡e under investigation in tlis book.
Tle locus in ¡art 2 is national, since tle translornations allected tle
entire country. Tlis is lardly sur¡rising considering tlat it reßected a
global restructuring ol tle retail trade. But tle consun¡tion landsca¡e
is hrst and lorenost an urban landsca¡e, and tle bias renains towards
Stockloln. Tle reasoning will be nore tentative tlan in tle ¡revious
cla¡ters, wlere we lollowed tle rise ol tle narket lall or in tle subse-
quent cla¡ters, wlere we will return to Stockloln ol tle early twenty-
hrst century.
136 prelude
Tle listory ol tle retail revolution is in¡ortant because it gives us
tle keys to con¡relend tle rise and lall and subsequent renaissance ol
tle narket lall. Vlereas tle hrst ¡art ol tlis dissertation looked at tle
rise, tle locus ol tlis ¡art is tle lall. Tle tine ¡eriod described in ¡art 2 is
in¡ortant in order to understand tle environnent in wlicl tle narket
lall could cone back and ex¡erience a renaissance. Nevertleless, very lew
sources actually deal ex¡licitly witl narket lalls during tle ¡eriod 1933-
1973. It is dilhcult to ¡in¡oint exactly at wlat ¡oint tle narket lalls
resurged and attracted nore interest again.
Tle lollowing cla¡ters tlus ¡ro¡ose to deal witl wly tle narket lall
lell into decline, but will do so indirectly. Here tle locus is to gras¡ tle cli-
nate ol nodernization and rationality tlat corres¡onds to tle ligl tide
ol tle Swedisl wellare state, wlicl in turn corres¡onds to tle ligl tide ol
tle nass ¡roduction and nass consun¡tion in tle Vestern world, a ¡e-
riod ol great ex¡ansion and econonic growtl. Still, tle overall anbition
in tlis ¡art is to look at tle exan¡le ol tle retail trade and tle energence
ol tle sell-service store in order to see wlat tle in¡lications were lor low
quality was construed. Tle new sell-service stores are illustrations ol tle
bigger translornation ol tle lood industries, but also ol tle translor-
nation ol tle urban landsca¡e and its lood retail systens. It is also a
question ol wlat elenents constituted quality. During tlis ¡eriod it was
rationality ratler tlan autlenticity tlat took tle center stage, as we will
see in tle lollowing cla¡ters.
Tle econonic listorian Hugo Kyleback, wlo las written extensively
on tle develo¡nent ol tle retail trade and es¡ecially on tle listory ol
tle coo¡erative novenent in Sweden, divides Swedisl retail listory into
several blocks, wlere tle ¡eriod 1900 to 1950 is claracterized by an older
lorn ol trade, and tle latter lall ol tle century is claracterized by inno-
vations and nay be terned nodern.
To understand tle develo¡nents
regarding tle narket lall, tle ¡eriod categorization nade by Kyleback
las been ado¡ted lere, s¡ecihcally tle hrst lall ol tle ¡eriodization, and
connents on tle narket lall lave been added.
1870s1890s Tle rise ol tle narket lall.
1890s1910s Tle ligl ¡eriod ol tle narket lall.
1910s1930s Tle ¡arallel systen ol nanual counter service,
stores begin to overtake tle narket lalls.
1930s1950s Tle decline ol tle narket lall. trade agreenents
and ¡ower struggles over tle control ol tle retail trade.
1. Kyleback, H., Varuhandeln i Sverige under 1900-talet, ¡. 23-26.
137 dreams of rationality
1950s1970s Tle introduction and triun¡l ol sell-service, de-
¡artnent stores, oligo¡olies. Tle narket lall is a virtual non-is-
1970s1990s Tle crisis ol tle de¡artnent stores, ly¡ernarkets,
oligo¡olies. Tle beginning ol tle narket lall renaissance.
1990s2000s Oligo¡olies are called into question, international-
ization and nicle narkets are on tle rise, wlicl also neans con-
tinued narket lall renaissance.
To nake an accurate ¡eriod categorization is always a delicate task. Tle
¡oint ol tlis ¡eriodization is to draw u¡ tle general lines ol develo¡nent,
even il ¡arallel lorns ol trade lave always coexisted. Tle general lines ol
tle develo¡nent ol tle retail trade will tlen guide us tlrougl tle lol-
lowing cla¡ters and lel¡ us see wly tle narket lall becane sucl a non-
issue. tlere was sin¡ly no need lor tle city to ¡rovide tle inlrastructure
ol a narket lall wlen tlere were stores in every neiglborlood.
Tle systen ol neiglborlood stores lad ex¡anded in ¡arallel witl tle
narket lalls. Tle subsequent clanges in city ¡lanning and tle ex¡ansion
ol tle city over a greater area lurtler strengtlened tle advantage ol tle
neiglborlood stores over tle centrally located narket lalls. Consuners
ex¡ected tleir street to service tlen witl lood stores ollering all tle vari-
ous itens wlicl tley in tle ¡ast lad to go to tle narket or tle narket
lall to hnd. Tle claracter ol tle neiglborlood store clanged too, wlen
¡revious regulations as to wlat lood itens could be sold wlere were re-
noved and stores could ex¡and tleir assortnent, tlus naking tle nar-
ket lall still even nore outnoded.

Lven il tle counter service stores triun¡led over tle narket lall, tle
con¡etition was still severe. Tle snall neiglborlood stores con¡eted
witl tle coo¡erative stores tlat continued to be innovative. For exan¡le,
tle coo¡erative novenent lad tleir s¡ecial store structure, wlere tlree
stores or nore were located next to one anotler. Tlen tlere were tle new
lorns ol trade, sucl as tle variety stores and tle de¡artnent stores, wlere
lood was also sold, even il lood was never tle nunber one article. Tle
introduction ol sell-service was tle revolution tlat hnally ¡ernitted tle
restructuring ol tle retail trade, wlicl went in tle direction ol large-scale
rationalizations and, as lar as was ¡ossible, neclanization. All ol tlis can
be inter¡reted as tle antitlesis ol tle craltsnansli¡ and ¡ersonal service
ol tle narket lall.
2. Tle decaying narket lalls also laced con¡etition lron tle big de¡artnent stores,
likewise located in tle city centers. However, tle de¡artnent stores becane obsolete
very ra¡idly, es¡ecially as regards lood distribution.
138 prelude
In tle new suburbs tle city ¡lanners and tle re¡resentatives ol tle Co-
o¡erative novenent and tle ICA novenent
nade sure tle inlabitants
were well-su¡¡lied witl sell-service lood stores ol un¡recedented size.
Lventually tle big su¡ernarket clains and tleir external slo¡¡ing nalls
attracted tle nain business away lron tle city centers. Vlat once was a
good business location was no longer tle sane golden o¡¡ortunity. Tle
lace ol tle urban landsca¡e lad clanged yet again and rationality was tle
keynote claracteristic. In order to understand low translornations ol
sucl nagnitude could take ¡lace in sucl a slort ¡eriod ol tine, we need
to dwell on tle context in wlicl tley took ¡lace. Sweden lron tle 1930s
to tle 1970s.
3. Tle ICA novenent was tle association ol tle ¡rivate retailers, wlicl becane very
successlul. ICA actually nodelled a lot ol its business ¡ractices on tle success ol KF.
See Virsall, N-L., ºBlad ur Hakonbolagets listoriaº In M. Falkenstan (ed.), Något till
livs: ett tidsdokument med anledning av Hakonbolagets 50-årsjubileum, Nygren, L. °De lrivil-
liga sannanslutningarnas tid.º In J. Ljdestan, N. Hedin & L. Nygren (eds.), Bilder ur
lanthandelns historia, ¡. 345-400.
Modernity in action
Climate of change
On May 16, 1930 tle doors o¡ened to tle Stockloln Lxlibition. Tle
exlibition celebrated tle triun¡l ol nodernisn in arclitecture. In a
sense, tle exlibition also narked tle triun¡l ol nodernity in Sweden.
Fron tle 1930s, tle nove towards nodernity was tle doninant ¡osi-
tion in ¡olitics, business, and ¡rivate lile. tle advocates ol nodernity
lad overtaken tle social and intellectual debate. Tlis tendency was nost
¡ronounced anong tle social-denocratic ¡arty nenbers or tlose alhli-
ated witl tle new social denocratic elite. Lvery as¡ect ol nodern soci-
ety slould be nolded into tlis new rational lorn. art, lousing, lanily
lile, working lile, ¡roduction, distribution, and consun¡tion. Tle new
citizen lad to be educated, society relorned, lone, trade and industry
rationalized, in order lor a brave new world to arise.

Tle advocates ol nodernity worked on several levels. Tle strengtl ol
tle nodernity novenent cane lron its wide base ol su¡¡orters. Tle al-
liances were sonetines unex¡ected and ran across ¡olitical boundaries,
as well as across sectors. Tle lact tlat industry, unions, ¡oliticians, and
nany re¡resentatives ol tle liberal ¡rolessions joined lorces in tle relorn
1. See lor exan¡le Aléx, P., Den rationella konsumenten, Deland, M., The social city, Gus-
tavsson, M., Makt och konstsmak, Hirdnan, Y., Att lägga livet till rätta, Rudberg, L., The
Stockholm exhibition 1930.
chapter 6 140
ol Swedisl society ¡aved tle way lor tle unusual unilornity, strengtl
and ra¡idity witl wlicl Swedisl society went tlrougl relorn and nod-
ernization. Under tle ¡articular listorical conditions ¡resent in tle in-
terwar ¡eriod, and even nore so in tle golden ¡eriod ol tle ¡ost-war era,
tlese alliances lad enougl to oller dis¡arate actors in order lor tle relor-
nation to be relatively snootl. Lven wlen tlere was controversy, and ol
course tlere was controversy, tle nain direction lad been hrnly set. tle
love story ol Sweden and nodernity was establisled.
Vletler tlis was just an inage well-suited to tle construction ol tle
wellare state or a nore substantial reality is not tle issue lere. Tle in-
age worked, and it worked well, es¡ecially since it was taken u¡ and dis-
seninated by otlers. Tle ¡roduction and re¡roduction ol tle inage ol
Sweden as a country enbracing nodernity lull s¡eed and in con¡lete
larnony is lound in a study by tle etlnologist Åke Daun, wlo las stud-
ied tle inage ol Sweden in searcl ol tle Swedisl °national claracterº.
Here Daun cites a nunber ol exan¡les wlere tle Swede is ¡resented
as a ¡erson wlo ¡uts a lot ol en¡lasis on rationality, reason, and con-
non sense. Already in 1911, Gustav Sundbarg described tle Swedisl na-
tional claracter as laving a ¡ronounced sense ol reason, objectivity, lacts,
and orderliness. But tle love ol rationalisn can actually be traced back to
tle 1880s, according to tle listorian ol ideas Kjell Jonsson, wlon Daun
uses to su¡¡ort lis account. A Swede ¡redis¡osed to engage in teclnical
and ¡ractical issues energed again in Hans L Zetterberg`s The Rational
Humanitarians lron 1984. To ex¡lain tle Swedisl nentality, le used tle
long social-denocratic rule and tle ideology ol tle social denocrats lo-
cused on relorns and con¡ronises, wlere collective decisions were ¡or-
trayed in a ¡articularly ¡ro¡itious liglt. Tlere was a strong conviction in
Sweden tlat tle state and tle autlorities would best ensure justice and
lair ¡lay. To render ¡olitics in a scientihc context can also be seen as ty¡i-
cally Swedisl, according to Daun.

Tle rational, ¡ractical Swede, witl lis dee¡ and unquestioning trust
in tle state, was not only an inage ¡ro¡agated by tle Swedes tlenselves.
It was taken u¡ by loreigners like Anerican journalist David Jenkins, wlo
wrote Sweden and the Price of Progress in 1968. Anotler Anerican, tle ¡o-
litical scientist David Po¡enoe, studied Sweden and also concluded tlat
to trust tle state and lollow tle ¡lans drawn u¡ by tle autlorities was
a trait s¡ecihc to Swedisl society. Tlat tle trust was lairly well-lounded
was tle nain argunent ol Suède: la réforme permanente lron 1977, wlicl
2. Sundbarg, Jonsson and Zetterberg cited in Daun, Å., Svensk mentalitet, ¡. 154-157.
modernity in action 141
used Sweden as tle good exan¡le ol a successlul transition into noder-

Yet anotler classic exan¡le ol low tlis inage ol Sweden was taken
u¡ by outsiders and ¡ro¡agated as unique exan¡le is tle book Sweden,
the middle way lron 1936.
Tlis was written by Marquis V. Clilds, one
ol tle advisors to President Roosevelt. Tlere was a desire to see and ac-
ce¡t Sweden as sonetling dillerent, a country ol briglt and larnonious
nodernity. Tle ¡roduction ol tle inage ol Sweden and its en¡lasis on
rationality and nodernity lurtler ¡ro¡agated tle view tlat rationality
was synonynous witl quality as quintessentially Swedisl. Ol course, it
only reßects certain as¡ects ol Swedisl nodernity, but it is renarkable
to see low tle voices ol discord and discontent are drowned out in tlese
Vlat we see is actually a nexus ol social, scientihc, teclnical, and ¡oliti-
cal translornations reßected in a large nunber ol connittees and ¡ublic
re¡orts in tle 1930s and onwards, es¡ecially regarding social ¡olitics. A
3. Jenkins, Po¡enoe and Faranond & Glaynan cited in Daun, Å., Svensk mentalitet,
¡. 154-157, 161-162.
4. Clilds, M. V., Sweden, the middle way.
6.1 The first self-service store Piggly-Wiggly.
Charles Saunders, 1917. Library of Congress.
chapter 6 142
nunber ol re¡orts were issued on agriculture, as well as tle ¡roduction,
¡rocessing, distribution and sale ol lood. Tle re¡orts tlenselves also un-
deniably generated clange.
Tle strong desire to clange society and to do
it in a rational way nay in ¡art be ex¡lained by tle closely knit networks
ol a relorn-lriendly elite, wlo nanaged to attain an inter¡retative ¡re-
rogative, wlere rationality was equated witl quality.
Tle relorn-ninded elites recruited tleir nost ardent su¡¡orters
anong radical arclitects, nedical doctors, and social denocratic ¡oli-
ticians. Peo¡le in tle coo¡erative novenent also ¡layed an in¡ortant
role. Tlese ¡eo¡le olten knew eacl otler and lived in tle sane neigl-
Tle very lact tlat tle network nenbers were living in sucl
close ¡roxinity and olten s¡ent a lot ol tine witl eacl otler nay in ¡art
ex¡lain tle strengtl ol tle networks. Friendsli¡s, lanily ties, and geo-
gra¡lic ¡roxinity nade tlis elite liglly colesive and ellective.

During tlis ¡eriod ol active nodernization and urbanization, agricul-
ture dranatically declined in in¡ortance relative to industry. To under-
stand tle subsequent clanges, we need to look into tle agricultural ¡oli-
tics ol tle interwar ¡eriod and alter tle Second Vorld Var. Tle course
ol events could best be claracterized as a lundanental clange in Swedisl
society, steered by an active decision to nove into an era ol noderniza-
tion. And nodernization neant rationalization.
Agriculture heading for rationalization
Agriculture lad long been tle backbone ol tle Swedisl econony, but it
lailed to kee¡ ¡ace witl industry witl regard to nodernization. Swed-
isl larners increasingly sullered lron structural disadvantages, and tle
5. Anong tle nost inßuential re¡orts were Tle Middlenan Re¡ort 1922, Tle Distri-
bution Re¡ort 1955, Tle Concentration Re¡ort 1968, Tle Distribution Re¡ort 1975,
Tle Food Price Re¡ort 1987 and Tle Con¡etition Re¡ort 1991. Tle re¡orts were
su¡¡orted by a nunber ol laws and regulations sucl as Tle Con¡etition Restriction
Act ol 1946, Tle Price Regulation Act ol 1947, Tle Pernanent Price Regulation Act ol
1957 (wlen Tle State Price and Cartel Board was establisled), Tle Price Surveillance
Decree ol 1967, Tle Price-Freeze Decree ol tle Most Crucial Foodstulls ol 1970, and
Tle Con¡etition Restriction Act ol 1983.
6. Tle neiglborlood witl tle classical lunctionalist row louses in Ålsten, wlere tle
Swedisl ¡rine ninister Per Albin Hansson lived, was one sucl center, and tle block
ol service ßats on tle Joln Lricsson street in Kungslolnen was anotler.
7. Tle close-knit networks ol relorn advocates lave been na¡¡ed out in dillerent
studies and lron dillerent ¡ers¡ectives tlan tle broad generalizations in tlis cla¡ter.
See Visselgren, P., 'Kollektivluset ocl Villa Myrdal. on sanlallsvetenska¡ens run i
lolklennet`, Topos: essäer om tänkvärda platser och platsbundna tankar, ¡. 130-151, Hird-
nan, Y., Den socialistiska hemmafrun och andra kvinnohistorier.
modernity in action 143
countryside a¡¡eared less and less attractive lor youtl, wlo close to lol-
low tleir urban dreans ratler tlan stay and endure tle drudgery ol rural
lile. Agriculture was lard work and larn workers were anong tle ¡oorest
in Sweden. Tlis neant tlat agriculture was one ol tle ¡rine targets lor
nodernization and rationalization.
Vlen tle ex¡ort narket lor agricultural ¡roduce colla¡sed in tle be-
ginning ol tle 1930s, tle situation lor tle larners becane critical. It is in
liglt ol tlis state ol allairs tlat we need to exanine tle listorical con-
¡ronise ol tle 1933 Crisis Agreenent, wlicl in itsell las turned into a
synbol ol Sweden`s successlul nove into nodernity. Tle agreenent ol-
lered guarantees lor agriculture to sustain tle ¡osition ol larners and
tle ¡ricing ¡olicies ol agricultural ¡roducts. Tle agreenent tlen resulted
in a transition ol agriculture lron subsistence to casl larning, and it was
su¡¡orted by a broad coalition ol ¡oliticians concerned witl tle social
in¡rovenent ol tle rural areas.
Tle nain concern during tlis ¡eriod
was to bring urban rationality out to tle rural linterlands. Tle urban
values ol rationality and hxed working lours were to be translerred to
tle rural context. Tle idea was to turn larners into rational workers, and
larning into an anonynous industrial activity.
Tle 1948 Agriculture Agreenent lurtler narked tle ¡oint wlen
larners and agriculture entered tle ¡atl ol nodernization, and lron
tlis tine tle structural rationalization ol agriculture truly took oll. Tle
agreenent sti¡ulated tlat tle larner slould be entitled to tle sane eco-
nonic con¡ensation as tle average industrial worker. Tlis neant tlat
only a snaller nunber ol larners would be able to continue larning, but
tle ones wlo continued would lave a decent standard ol living as con-
¡ensation lor tleir labor. Tle dilhculties and lardsli¡s ex¡erienced by
larners in tle 1920s and 1930s lad ellectively laid tle loundation lor tle
desire to con¡ronise and hnd new solutions across traditional ¡olitical

Tle coalition between tle Farners` Union and tle Social Denocrats
nade tle structural transitions run snootlly. Parallel to tlis develo¡-
nent was tle ¡roducer coo¡erative novenent anong larners and tle
develo¡nent ol coo¡erative agricultural credit institutes, wlicl lel¡ed
8. For a nore tlorougl ex¡osition, see lor exan¡le Morell, M., 'Jordbruket ocl in-
dustrionvandlingen`, In Då förändras Sverige, ¡. 31-48, Morell, M., `Det konnersiella
jordbruket`, Det svenska jordbrukets historia. Bd 4, Jordbruket i industrisamhället 1870-1945.,
¡. 84-108.
9. Morell, M., 'Det konnersiella jordbruket`, in Janken Myrdal (ed.), Det svenska jord-
brukets historia. Bd 4, Jordbruket i industrisamhället: 1870-1945, ¡. 84-108.
chapter 6 144
s¡ur tle translornation towards structural rationalization ol agricul-
ture. Vlat started out as local coo¡eration at tle beginning ol tle twen-
tietl century lad turned into najor ¡roducer coo¡eratives, nore akin
to global ¡ower ¡layers, towards tle end ol tle twentietl century.
As a
consequence, tle wlolesale narket in Sweden lor virtually all ¡erislables
sucl as dairy ¡roducts, neat, or lruit and vegetables, ended u¡ in tle
lands ol a lew large ¡roducer coo¡eratives.

Tle large ¡roducer coo¡eratives in Sweden are tlus tle result ol suc-
cesslul agricultural translornations, but tleir develo¡nent las continu-
ously enjoyed tle su¡¡ort ol ¡oliticians, wlicl las cenented tleir suc-
cess. Tle su¡¡ort ol tle ¡roducer coo¡eratives was also seen as a way ol
dealing witl tle ¡roblens related to lood security and lood ¡rovisioning
by creating large, rational ¡roduction units tlat could serve tle entire
country. Tle sane tendencies are ¡resent in tle rest ol Luro¡e, wlere ac-
tive ¡olitical su¡¡ort ol agriculture las led to big ¡roducer coo¡eratives
and larners being dislocated lron one anotler.

Tle structural rationalizations in agriculture lad to be natcled by
sinilar develo¡nents in lood industries and retail, wlicl called lor new
lorns ol distribution as well. Tle narket lalls, wlicl lad energed ¡artly
as a res¡onse to tle dilhculties ol larners to get tleir ¡roduce to town
and tlus translorn tle agricultural econony into a nore narket-orient-
ed econony, were declared insulhcient by tle 1930s. Tle lood narket
was still claotic and tle lood ¡rices were still abnornally ligl, at least
in tle ca¡ital as we saw in tle ¡revious cla¡ters. New solutions lad to
be lound to get tle larners` ¡roduce to tle narket in a ¡rohtable way.
Here tle narket lall no longer a¡¡eared as a viable o¡tion lor tle dis-
tribution to tle end consuner. Vlere narket lalls ¡ersisted, tley were
wlolesale narkets. Lven as wlolesale narkets, tley were clallenged by
otler lorns ol distribution. But it was not until tle ¡ostwar ¡eriod tlat
tle large larner-led ¡roducer coo¡eratives were truly to be natcled by
tle consuner coo¡erative novenent and by tle retail-led coo¡erative
novenent, ICA.
10. For exan¡le, tle Danisl dairy con¡any MD Foods and Swedisl Arla, wlicl
nerged into one con¡any in 2003, still o¡erate in tle lorn ol ¡roducer coo¡eratives,
even il tle nenbers lardly know one anotler anynore.
11. Tulvesson, I., Varuhandeln: igår, idag, imorgon, ¡. 49-50.
12. Isacson, M. & Morell, M., “Jordbruk i industri- ocl vallardssanlalleº, In M. Mo-
rell & S. Hedenborg (eds.), Sverige - en social och ekonomisk historia, ¡. 197-227, R. Rydén
(ed.), Jordbrukarnas kooperativa föreningar och intresseorganisationer i ett historiskt perspek-
modernity in action 145
Rational designs
Tle coo¡erative novenent was innovative and ke¡t u¡ to date witl de-
velo¡nents in tle held ol retail trade, distribution, and ¡roduction ol
consuner goods and lood. Tley also very nucl ¡ioneered tle store ar-
clitecture. tle arclitect bureau o¡ened by tle coo¡erative novenent in
1924 lad an enornous inßuence on tle nodernization ol stores all over
tle country.
Tle KF arclitect`s olhce designed over 2000 slo¡s and
slo¡ httings in tle hrst ten years. Tle o¡ening ol tle KF arclitect`s olhce
can be seen as tle beginning ol a new connercial slo¡ culture. KF also
¡roduced several instruction hlns about slo¡ culture and low a good
vendor slould belave in accordance witl tle new rational and lygienic
store interiors.

Standardization was ¡resented as tle answer to all tle troubles ol
tle nodern consuner culture. Once tle stores lad been renodeled and
standardized, witl tleir new slo¡ httings and counters, slelves, con-
¡artnents and lruit baskets, as well as nodern ¡ackages and cans, it
nade sense to s¡eak ol a new store culture, as one ol tle su¡¡orters ol
tle KF novenent ¡roclained in an article in 1935.
Consuner ¡olitics
were translated by tle coo¡erative novenent into a concern about low
to build stores tlat would best serve tle consuners.
Ten years alter tle coo¡erative novenent o¡ened tleir arclitect bu-
reau, tle ¡rivate retailers o¡ened tleirs, Sveriges Ko¡nannalorbunds
arkitektkontor (Arclitect Bureau ol Sweden`s Merclant Association).
Tleir nission was to serve ¡rivate retailers and oller standardized store
httings and solutions, in tle sane way tlat tle KF arclitect bureau lad
served tle coo¡erative retailers. Tle ellorts were connunicated in a jour-
nal about tle retail trade, wlere notable exan¡les ol new nodern stores
were ¡resented, along witl ideas lor low to decorate your window dis-
Tle journal encouraged store owners to arrange tleir stores in a
rational nanner. It was in¡ortant to kee¡ tle standards ligl and nain-
13. Tlis could translate into Swedisl coo¡erative wlolesale society`s arclitect`s ol-
hce, wlicl is low tle olhce translated its nane wlen it celebrated its 10tl anniver-
sary in 1935. For convenience tle less cunbersone translation ol KF arclitect`s olhce
is used lere.
14. Brunnstron, L., Det svenska folkhemsbygget, Savas, G., Från handelsbod till stormark-
15. Aléx, P., Den rationella konsumenten, ¡. 189-192.
16. Tle nane ol tle journal, Butikskultur, literally translates into ºstore cultureº.
chapter 6 146
tain tle store s¡ick and s¡an to survive tle con¡etition lron all tle new
elegant stores.

Cleanliness and lygiene were olten nentioned in tle journal. Accord-
ing to tle journal, it was a sign ol a nodern store culture. Tle nodern
was rational and tle rational was standardized.
Tle journal did s¡end
sone tine in negotiating low tlings would be standardized, and also
addressing tle lear ol stores losing tleir soul. Cost elhcient standardiza-
tion ol certain store httings did not lave to nean boring and in¡ersonal.
Swedisl design was clained to be a sober and genuine style tlat reluted
any accusations ol standardized conlornity as bland and vacuous.
tle real antidote was a store wlere tle clerks knew tle value ol service.
°Meclanization, stereoty¡ed belavior and nonotonous routine eva¡o-
17. “Varda butikslokalen rationellt!º, Butikskultur: Sveriges köpmannaförbunds organ
för butiksinredningar och fönsterskyltning, ¡. 16-17 nr 5 1933, “Butiken ocl turisternaº,
Butikskultur: Sveriges köpmannaförbunds organ för butiksinredningar och fönsterskyltning ¡.
10-12 nr 3 1935.
18. Tle nodel was taken lron tle coo¡erative stores wlose success de¡ended on
tleir ligler lygienic standards and tle standardization ol tle store interiors tlat
allowed lor sone econonies ol scale. See Brunnstron, L., Det svenska folkhemsbygget.,
¡. 200-201.
19. ºButiken ocl turisternaº Butikskultur, nr 3 1935, ¡. 10-12.
6.2 New rational store-designs pioneered by the cooperative movement.
Unknown photographer, 1934-1939, Stockholms Stadsmuseum.
modernity in action 147
rate wlen ¡ersonal service is celebrated, and it renders our stores in tle
briglt colors ol lile itsell, hlled witl genuine clarn.º

But tle new consun¡tion landsca¡e, lor all its standardized store el-
egance, still sullered lron extrenely low ¡roductivity. Vitl nore ¡eo¡le
noving to urban agglonerations and nore ¡eo¡le working lor wages,
tle nunber ol ¡eo¡le de¡ending on stores to su¡¡ly tlen witl lood
increased. At tle sane tine, tle stores lad dilhculties hnding enougl
stall witlout laving to s¡end too nucl on salaries in order to be able
to still nake a ¡roht. Social relorners anxious to nove into a rational
new society ¡erceived tle retail trade as ¡roblenatic witl its low labor
¡roductivity. An arny ol clerks and delivery boys were required, usur¡ing
a worklorce tlat could be better en¡loyed in a nore ¡roductive area ol
tle econony.
Rampant distribution costs
As we saw in tle ¡revious ¡art, Berlin and Gernany nore generally, as
well as Paris to a certain extent, lad been tle nain sources ol ins¡iration
in tle late nineteentl and tle beginning ol tle twentietl century, es¡e-
cially lor nunici¡al lorns ol organizing tle lood distribution. Fron tle
interwar ¡eriod and onwards, tle US energed as a strong contender lor
hrst ¡lace. Tlis inßuence was strengtlened alter tle Second Vorld Var,
witl tle US energing as tle new global su¡er¡ower. Tle ¡restige Gerna-
ny lad litlerto enjoyed was tainted by tle Nazi ex¡erience, and tle close
ties between tle Sweden and Gernany sank into collective oblivion.
US was tle luture and tle role nodel.
Tle Anerican advertising and business literature lad in lact been
gaining nonentun belore tle interwar ¡eriod witl translations ol land-
books on low to sell, use advertising, and neet custoners. Tle nain
tlenes were econonic rationality, ¡roht and gain.
But tle ideal ¡re-
scribed in tle literature was in stark contrast to tle realities ol retailers.
In tle 1920s and 1930s retail landsca¡e, tle nounting costs lor distribu-
tion were recognized as a serious tlreat. Tlis ¡roblen was lurtler aggra-
vated alter tle end ol tle Second Vorld Var and now sonetling radical
lad to be done about tle retail trade. Tle ligl costs ol distribution were
20. °All nekanisering, all sclablon ocl slentrian ßyr bort, nar det ¡ersonliga lar lar-
ska ocl ge aven vara butiksbesok livets lriska larger ocl akta clarn.º autlor`s trans-
lation ol citation lron ºKund¡sykologien ocl dess betydelse lor butikskulturenº, Bu-
tikskultur, nr 4, 1932, ¡. 14.
21. Östling, J., Nazismens sensmoral, ¡. 45.
22. Hernansson, K., I persuadörernas verkstad, ¡. 11.
chapter 6 148
in lact brouglt to attention by tle governnent wlo tlreatened industry
to intervene and in¡ose strict regulations il tley could not bring down
tle costs on tleir own initiative.
Let us look at tle argunents lron
two ol tle leading ex¡erts on distribution econonics at tle Stockloln
Sclool ol Lcononics, Prolessor Gerlard Tornqvist
and lis disci¡le Nils
Lrik Virsall,
wlo also worked lor one ol tle biggest ¡rivate wlolesalers.
Botl ol tlen were concerned witl tle staggering costs ol distribution,
wly tley ke¡t nounting, and low tle retail trade slould landle tlese
costs. Tornqvist continually undertook tine studies in order to scientih-
cally rationalize tle retail trade. He syntlesized sone ol tle results ol lis
investigations in a detailed landbook on tle retail trade, wlere every as-
¡ect was covered. tle layout ol tle store, tle httings, tle liglting arrange-
nents, neclanical devices, tle stall, and advertising.
In 1946, ¡rolessor Gerlard Tornqvist was conten¡lating tle luture ol
tle Swedisl distribution systen. Prolessor Tornqvist s¡oke ol tle clang-
es tlat lad allected tle lood trade and nentioned two ol ¡articular con-
sequence. Firstly, lron tle 1940s tle average louselold was urban and
since nost ¡eo¡le lad little ¡ossibility ol storing large quantities ol lood
in tleir ßats, tley bouglt snaller quantities and nore olten tlan lad
been tle custon in ¡revious decades. Handling nany snall ¡urclases
was less cost elhcient tlan lewer, bigger ¡urclases. Secondly, tle overall
neclanization ol tle industry lad lead to ligler wages in tlat sector.
Tle retail trade, con¡eting lor tle sane labor lorce, was lorced to in-
crease wages witlout any substantial rationalization witlin reacl.

23. Kjellberg, H., Organising distribution, ¡. 122-128.
24. Tornqvist can be said to lave been a liglly inßuential actor. He worked at tle
Stockloln Sclool ol Lcononics, wlere le tauglt a nunber ol students wlo were
later successlul and loyal to tle ideas ol tleir nentor. He co-lounded a journal on
business econonics, Affärsekonomi, wlere le contributed and lunctioned as an editor.
He also co-lounded a researcl institute on business, Allarsekononiska lorskningsin-
stitutet (ALF). For a discussion ol Tornqvist`s wide s¡lere ol inßuence, see Östlund,
D., “Gerlard Tornqvist nonsterbildare ¡lanekonon ocl narknads¡roletº, In L.
Lngwall, (ed.), Föregångare inom företagsekonomin, ¡. 147.
25. Tle business listorian Hugo Kyleback describes Virsall as kind ol a cliel ide-
ologist lor industry and trade, and as being closely linked to tle ¡rivate retailers` as-
sociation, tle ICA novenent, and tle biggest ¡rivate wlolesaler, Hakonbolaget. In
addition, le was also working at tle Stockloln Sclool ol Lcononics. See Kyleback,
H.,Varuhandeln i Sverige, ¡. 7-9.
26. G. Tornqvist, S. Carlson & G. Berg (eds.), Detaljhandelns bok. 1, Livsmedel, [1], Orga-
nisation, Stockloln, 1937. Ten year later, tlis landbook lad to be con¡letely revised
due to tle introduction ol sell-service.
27. Tornqvist, G., Varudistributionens struktur och kostnader, ¡. 85.
modernity in action 149
Nils-Lrik Virsall arranged a study circle on belall ol tle Swedisl Ad-
vertising Association in 1944 on tle distribution ol goods and its costs.
Virsall conhrned Tornqvist`s analysis. He ¡ointed to low industry lad
turned nore to nanulactured and seni-nanulactured connodities, and
low ¡roduction lad been concentrated into larger and larger lactories
to bear tle cost ol tle increased neclanization. Tlis in turn also raised
tle distribution costs, since tle trans¡ortation costs increased witl big
industrial con¡lexes centralized in a lew locations. Tle retail trade lad
not lad tle sane o¡¡ortunities to neclanize and rationalize as industry,
and tle nanual service retail trade laced dranatic cost increases, as well
as a coning labor slortage wlen workers were drawn to tle well-¡aid
jobs in industry.

Tle ligler wages would allect tle entire society, warned Virsall, and
society would lave to bear tle ligler distribution costs tlat were tle
inevitable consequence ol tle increasing wages and tle low ¡roductivity
in tle retail trade. Tle labor slortage would allect tle retail sector in
yet anotler nore indirect way. Vitl lewer ¡eo¡le entering tle servant
¡rolession, lousewives would be under increasing strain, and tley were
tlen likely to try to slilt sone ol tleir workload onto tle retail trade and
tle lood industry.
Tornqvist also ¡redicted tlat lewer ¡eo¡le would be
able to kee¡ a servant. On tle otler land, nore ¡eo¡le would lave access
to tele¡lones. Tley could tlen tele¡lone tleir orders to tle stores and
collect tlen later on. Prolessor Tornqvist s¡eculated tlat tlis new way ol
serving custoners niglt be nore ¡rohtable tlan counter service in tle
store itsell.

Botl Virsall and Tornqvist were aware ol tle lact tlat tle retail trade
laced great clallenges. Virsall ¡erceived low tle consuners would try to
slilt nore ol tle workload onto tle retailers, wlicl would ¡ut lurtler
strains on tle already lard-¡ressed nanual retail trade. Tornqvist, on tle
otler land, saw low one neclanical device, tle tele¡lone, could lel¡
rationalize tle nanual service store. Tle consuner would bear tle cost
ol tle tele¡lone, and tlus ¡artici¡ate in tle neclanization ol tle old
counter service store.
Tle increase in wages allected tle retail trade in otler ways as well.
Tle ligler standards ol living induced a nore dillerentiated narket, and
tlis turned denand into a nore hckle and un¡redictable lactor. Vitl
increased real incone, ¡eo¡le allowed tlenselves tle leisure to cloose,
28. Virsall, N-L., Varudistributionen och dess kostnader, ¡. 11-12.
29. Virsall, N-L., Varudistributionen och dess kostnader, ¡. 11-12.
30. Tornqvist, G., Varudistributionens struktur och kostnader, ¡. 110-1.
chapter 6 150
and nore closely lollow botl tleir desires and tle current laslions.
since tley could only consune a certain quantity ol goods, tley started
denanding (unnecessary) service instead ol goods, once a certain level
lad been reacled, Virsall con¡lained.
Tle consuner lere is ¡resented
alnost like a clild, inca¡able ol landling tle new toys ¡rovided in a ra-
tional and ¡redictable nanner. Tle irrational belavior ol tle consuner
lindered tle rational endeavors ol tle retail trade.
Tle consuner was a troublenaker, and tle consuner was olten a
wonan. Vlen Tornqvist s¡oke ol wonen working outside tle lone, le
regarded tlen as a lactor tlat botl ¡ut new restraints and o¡ened u¡
new ¡ossibilities lor tle lood trade. Tle lood trade would lose sone ol
its business wlen wonen no longer lad tine to cook in tle sane way,
but it would gain lron selling wonen ¡roducts tlat nade tleir lile and
cooking nore convenient. It also allected wlen and wlere wonen would
slo¡, wlicl in tle sane way botl in¡osed constraints and o¡ened u¡
To Tornqvist, it was essential to guide tle consuner in tle
riglt direction, to lel¡ ler nake tle nost rational cloices, and oller ler
tle nodern ¡roducts sle did not know sle needed.
Tle US consuner was ¡erla¡s not rational or attentive to tle work-
ing conditions ol tle retail trade wlen cloosing wlat days to go lood
slo¡¡ing. Most lousewives did tleir slo¡¡ing on Fridays and Saturdays,
and not even clea¡er ¡rices on otler days ol tle week could clange tlat
Vlat was interesting about Anerican lousewives was tleir
attitude towards new ¡roducts. In 1946, 44 ¡ercent would ¡reler to buy
rinsed and ¡eeled vegetables tlat were ready to use. 55 ¡ercent wanted
to buy ready-nade neals, lrozen, and ¡ackaged. 78 ¡ercent wanted nore
goods to be sealed by vacuun. 75 ¡ercent wanted ¡ackages tlat could be
¡laced straiglt at tle table.
Tle advocates ol sell-service lo¡ed tlat tle
conservative Swedisl lousewives would soon lollow tle exan¡le ol tle
US consuner and ler willingness to try out industrially-¡roduced conve-
nience lood in nodern rational stores.
To a certain extent, tlis was connected to tle general discussions at
tlis tine ol low wonen slould be able to conbine work and lone, wlere
31. Tornqvist, G., Varudistributionens struktur och kostnader, ¡. 110-1.
32. Virsall, N-L., Varudistributionen och dess kostnader, ¡. 11-12.
33. Tornqvist, G., Varudistributionens struktur och kostnader, ¡. 110-1.
34. Tle consun¡tion ¡atterns were sinilar in Sweden, and Swedisl retailers also,
unsuccesslully, tried to clange tle belavior ol consuners.
35. Tle results cane lron an investigation undertaken by tle Hone Makers Guild
ol Anerica in 1946. Tle intention was to na¡ out wlat Anerican lousewives wanted
lron tleir stores and low tley currently slo¡¡ed. See ºLardonar lran Anerika. Vad
en lusnor onskar av butikenº, Butikskultur, Nr 3 1947.
modernity in action 151
wonen like Alva Myrdall, Karin Kock, and Britta Åkernan were very
active. Tley ¡ronoted an ideal ol rationality wlicl o¡ened u¡ lor new
connodities tlat nade lousework less work-intensive.
Tleir a¡¡roacl
was nore understanding tlan tle attitude ol tle nen at tle Stockloln
Sclool ol Lcononics or tle nen in tle retail trade, but reßected tle sane
desire to rationalize all as¡ects ol lile.
A nore rational and nore neclanized retail trade was ¡erceived as
an adequate res¡onse to larger clanges in society by tle relorn-lriendly
Swedisl elite. Botl new consun¡tion ¡atterns, sucl as buying snaller
quantities nore olten, and new incone ¡atterns, witl nore ¡eo¡le de-
nanding and receiving ligler wages, neant tlat tle retail trade lad to
sonelow adjust. Tle ¡re¡ackaged goods were tle answer to botl ol tlese
issues, according to Tornqvist. Tle ¡re¡ackaged a¡¡roacl was a way ol
neclanizing tle retail trade to nake it nore rational and nore cost elh-
cient, nucl in tle sane way tlat industry lad clanged. More custoners
could be served tle snall quantities tley denanded in slorter tine witl
¡re¡ackaged goods. Tlis would also save labor costs and tlus cut tle
ran¡ant distribution costs.
Fron tle desire to serve as nany custoners
in as little tine as ¡ossible, sell-service was only a ste¡ away. But in order
lor sell-service to work, new retail teclnologies were essential. ¡ackaging
and tradenarks.
The packaging revolution
Tle retail revolution would not lave been ¡ossible witlout anotler revo-
lution. tle ¡ackaging revolution. Tle ¡ackaging revolution was still in
its inlancy in tle 1930s and 1940s. Tlis did not nean tlat ¡ackages and
tradenarks did not receive an¡le attention lron various grou¡s. Tlese
grou¡s were tle lood industry, tle wlolesalers, tle retailers, and sclol-
ars witl an interest in trade and distribution natters, as well as tlose
interested in social issues, and hnally ¡oliticians and bureaucrats eager
to rationalize tle lood trade and nake sure tle consuners lad access to
lealtly and clea¡ lood in sulhcient anounts.
Ol course, goods lave always been ¡ackaged in various lorns, but in-
dustrial ¡ackaging, wlere goods were ¡re¡ackaged at tle nanulacturers
in ¡ackages destined lor tle end consuner is a lairly recent ¡lenonenon.
Belore industrial ¡ackaging, nost goods were ¡ackaged lor tle consun-
er at tle retailers. Tle wlole ¡rocedure ol nanual service was extrenely
36. Tlese wonen were well-known leninists. See, Niskanen, K., Karriär i männens
värld, ¡. 159-201.
37. Tornqvist, G., Varudistributionens struktur och kostnader, ¡. 85.
chapter 6 152
work intensive and denanded tlat tlere were enougl sales clerks to serve
tle custoners, wlo would lave to wait in line. As long as labor was clea¡
and abundant, tlis was not a real ¡roblen. Stall was also su¡¡osed to
¡re¡ackage sta¡le loods during tle slow tines wlen tlere were no cus-
toners to serve, but tle consuners could always cloose tleir desired
quantity and lave it wra¡¡ed u¡ by tle vendor. Tlis neant a lot ol ßex-
ibility lor tle consuner, but also a lot ol losses lor tle retailer. Foods
were s¡oiled and s¡illed in tle ¡rocess ol landling tle goods. Also, tle
consuners did not always trust tle retailers, wlo were accused ol cleat-
ing witl tle quantities neasured, and ol tan¡ering witl tle goods to
nake tlen last longer.

Tle retailers and tle counter service systen were under critique lron
tle su¡¡lier side as well. Tle lood nanulacturers wlo wanted to narket
tleir nerclandise were also sus¡icious ol tle retailers, and were alraid
tley would s¡oil tle quality ol tle nanulactured ¡roducts and lence
tle good nane ol tle lood nanulacturer. Manulacturers, wlo lad ¡re-
¡ackaged goods to oller, denanded ligler ¡rices lor tlese itens since
tley initially lad ligler costs in ¡roducing tlen. To convince retailers
and consuners tlat tleir ¡roducts lad benehts, nanulacturers lad to
ensure tlat tle consuner was laniliar witl tle tradenark, and trusted
and desired tle quality ol tle ¡roduct. Tle nanual service in tle store
would tlen beneht lron slorter tine serving custoners since a known
tradenark in a ¡ackage would lel¡ tle custoners nake u¡ tleir ninds.
To tle ¡roducers and nanulacturers a known tradenark neant a nore
stable denand. Tle ¡re¡ackaged goods also entailed a new ¡erce¡tion
ol quality. Here quality was equated witl tle industrially nanulactured
goods never toucled by lunan lands. In order to acce¡t tlis new inter-
¡retation, tle consuner lad to learn to trust and recognize tle ¡re¡ack-
aged goods as being ol su¡erior quality.
One way ol creating tlis knowledge and trust was tlrougl advertis-
ing. As a natter ol lact, advertising lor ¡ackaged goods was ¡ervasive in
tle 1930s - 1950s.
Tle nanulacturers also becane nore interested in
narket surveys and ¡ublic relations to direct consuner denand towards
tleir own ¡roducts. Tlis desire to control tle narket and ¡ronote ¡ack-
aged goods and tle nanulacturers` own tradenarks eventually led tle
nanulacturers to set hxed gross ¡rices tlat tle retailers were bound to.
38. Mayo, J. M., The American grocery store, ¡. 64, Deutscl, T., ºUntangling alliances.
social tensions surrounding inde¡endent grocery stores and tle rise ol nass retailingº
in V. J. Belasco & P. Scranton (eds.), Food nations, ¡. 156-174. Tle relerences are s¡eak-
ing ol US conditions, but tle develo¡nent in Sweden was nost ¡robably sinilar.
39. Hernansson, K., I persuadörernas verkstad, ¡. 11.
modernity in action 153
tley could neitler sell at ¡rices above nor below tle ¡rices hxed by tle
Tle hxed gross ¡rices could be inter¡reted as a rational
way ol solving tle ¡roblen ol introducing a new lornat, tle ¡re¡ackaged
goods witl tleir registered tradenarks. In tle beginning ol tlis ¡eriod,
tle ¡ractice was justihed by tle lact tlat nany retailers were inex¡eri-
enced, and not always deened con¡etent to set ¡rices on tleir own. How-
ever, tlis inter¡retation ol tle rational gradually lost ground. Still, tle
systen ol hxed gross ¡rices ¡ersisted until tle 1950s.
Tle nain argunent against tle hxed gross ¡rices was tlat tle retail-
er could not con¡ete witl ¡rice, since tle ¡rices were already set by tle
nanulacturers. Instead tleir cliel neans ol attracting custoners was to
oller service sucl as lone delivery. Tle detractors ol tle hxed gross ¡rice
systen clained tlat since ¡rices were not a con¡etitive device, artihcial
service needs were created anong custoners, wlo never saw tle real costs
ol tle service tley denanded. Tlis unnecessary service drove u¡ tle dis-
tribution costs.
Vlat we see lere is low tle rational was re-coded witl
a dillerent set ol attributes. Tle retail landsca¡e lad evolved, and tle old
dehnitions ol rationality no longer necessarily leld true. Tle nanulac-
turers lad lost sone ol tleir ¡rivileged ¡osition in dehning rationality.
But tlere were otler lactors as well. Tle way distribution and retail were
being carried out called lor otler solutions, and consequently otler ways
ol dehning wlat was rational and wlat were sound business ¡ractices.
Prior to tle 1930s, tle key issue lad been sin¡ly getting a distribu-
tion systen in ¡lace and naking sure tlat tle cities received sulhcient
anounts ol lood. As tle lood industry evolved and tle trans¡ortation
inlrastructure began to cone into ¡lace, a ¡ieceneal distribution systen
naterialized. However, tle inelhciency ol tle retail systen contributed to
tle ligl distribution costs and ¡revented any substantial rationalization.
Tle counter service stores were olten snall, and tlis neant ligler costs
and lower ¡roht nargins as tley could not beneht lron any econonies ol
scale. It was lard to nake tlese stores nore elhcient or nore rational in
an econonic sense. Tle ¡rogress and rationalization ol tle lood industry
were sin¡ly not natcled by tle retail trade. In tle lace ol tlis situation,
¡re¡ackaged goods leld tle ¡ronise ol a nore rational way ol selling
lood at tle retail level.
Tle ¡ackaging revolution began in tle US. Tlere it was ¡rinarily
driven by nanulacturers wlo wisled to narket tleir ¡roducts and con-
40. Tulvesson, I., Varuhandeln: igår, idag, imorgon, ¡. 41-2.
41. Kjellberg, H., ºVirsalls narginalanteckning, eller. Ven ska bestanna ¡riset ¡a
varan·º In C-F Helgesson, H Kjellberg & A Liljenberg (eds.), Den där marknaden, ¡.
chapter 6 154
nunicate directly witl tle consuner by neans ol tle ¡ackage. In Sweden
tlere were not as nany nanulacturers witl brands and ¡ackaged goods.
A notable exce¡tion was tle sugar nanulacturing con¡any, Sockerbo-
laget, wlicl was one ol tle ¡ioneers in ex¡erinenting witl ¡re¡ackaged
sugar already by tle 1920s.
Tle develo¡nent ol ¡ackaging teclnology
becane essential, and tlere was an interde¡endence between tle ¡ackag-
ing industry, tle nanulacturers, and tle retailers, based on tle desire to
rationalize tle retail trade, even il tle ¡ackaging industry took nost ol
tle initiatives as tley were hglting to create a narket lor tleir ¡roducts.
Tle ¡ackaging con¡any Åkerlund & Rausing ¡layed a crucial role lere,
and tley worked very actively witl botl retailers and nanulacturers to
¡ronote ¡re¡ackaged goods.

One ol tle key actors was Ruben Rausing, tle nan belind Åkerlund &
Rausing, tlat would later give birtl to tle ¡ackaging innovator Tetra¡ak.
Larly on, Rausing was keenly aware ol wlat was going on in tle US, and
le went tlere on a study tour already in tle 1920s togetler witl anotler
ol tle key actors in relorning tle retail trade, Gerlard Tornqvist. In tle
US, tley studied tle ¡ackaging industry and low nanulacturers used
¡ackages to ¡ronote tradenarks. Rausing`s and Tornqvist`s insiglts lad
in¡lications lor tle ¡erce¡tion ol botl quality and rationality, introduc-
ing and trying to in¡lenent tle way tlese terns were used in tle US in
tle Swedisl context.
Tle duo Rausing-Tornqvist was very active in ¡ronoting ¡ackages
and in dehning tle qualities ol a ¡ackage, Rausing lron tle ¡oint ol view
ol an industrialist and entre¡reneur, and Tornqvist as an acadenic. Tle
notion ol centrally-¡ackaged goods lor nass distribution renained at tle
leart ol tle ¡ackaging industry and tle subsequent retail revolution. Tle
¡ackage would connunicate sonetling to tle custoner. Tle nessage
would in a way be contained in tle tradenark, wlicl would give tle cus-
toner guarantees ol tle quality ol tle ¡roduct as well as tle sense ol ac-
quiring certain values connected witl tle tradenark. Botl Rausing and
Tornqvist were alead ol tleir tine in understanding tle signihcance ol
tle ¡ackage and tle tradenark, eacl lron lis own ¡ers¡ective.
Prolessor Tornqvist, wlo was nainly concerned witl rationalizing tle
labor-intensive retail trade, saw lour ways nanulacturers, retailers and
consuners could gain advantages lron nore tradenarks and ¡ackag-
ing. 1) Tle ¡roduction ol tle connodities would be less ex¡ensive in
42. Torell, U., °Svenskt valstand i standardlor¡ackning. Lanseringen av socker lor
nasskonsuntion ¡a 1930-taletº In U Torell, R Qvarsell & J Lee (eds.), Burkar, påsar och
paket, lortlconing.
43. Nyberg, A., Innovation in distribution channels, ¡. 116-118.
modernity in action 155
tle long run des¡ite initial investnent costs in ¡ackaging naclinery etc.
2) Tle connodities would be better ¡rotected during trans¡ortation
and stock-kee¡ing wlicl would lead to decreased costs lor distribution.
3) Tle ¡ackages could be used in window dis¡lays and tle consuners`
awareness ol tle brand niglt lead to increased sales and tlus decreased
distribution costs. 4) Tle ¡ackaging in itsell niglt induce tle consuner
to ¡ay a ligler ¡rice. But tle overarcling reason to turn to nore ¡ack-
ages was tle tine tlat could be saved in tle ¡rocess, as nucl as 30 to
40 ¡ercent in one sale according to tine studies ¡rolessor Tornqvist lad
undertaken linsell in a store to observe low nucl tine tle clerk s¡ent
serving eacl custoner.

Tle desire to quantily and neasure was ¡art ol tle scientihc nanage-
nent revolution attributed to Taylor and it entailed s¡ecihc understand-
ings ol wlat was rational and desirable, wlicl also lad in¡lications lor
low tle ideal and real retail landsca¡es were construed. Tle ¡re¡ackaged
was equated not only witl rationality, but also witl quality. Quality lere
was s¡eed and lygiene, scientihc solutions and rational neclanization
tlat could be ¡recisely neasured and evaluated. It was always o¡en to
new tine and cost saving sclenes.
Tle develo¡nent in ¡ost-war USA was quicker tlan in Sweden, and
tle ideas and ideals Virsall s¡oke ol in tle late 1940s were already na-
terializing on tle otler side ol tle Atlantic.
Tle US teclniques were
subsequently in¡orted, and a lot ol ¡erislables becane sta¡les tlrougl
¡ackaging tlat increased tleir kee¡ing qualities. Cleese is one sucl ex-
an¡le, and cold cuts in vacuun ¡ackaging is anotler exan¡le. Packaging
also lacilitated tle distribution and dillusion ol goods over greater dis-
So we see low a lot ol tle visionary ideas lron 1948 were turned
into everyday retail ¡ractices tlanks to advances in ¡ackaging teclnique,
new retail lornats, and clanging consuner ideals tlat translorned tle
notions ol quality.
Tle transition towards nore ¡re¡ackaged goods was ¡artly lacilitated
by tle rationing troubles in tle wake ol tle Second Vorld Var. To over-
cone tle dilhculties tlere was a standardization connittee wlo worked
on ¡ossible regulations ol standard ¡ackaging and ¡ackaging sizes. Tlis
develo¡nent su¡¡orted tle work ol tle ¡ackaging industry witl its en-
¡lasis on standard solutions to aclieve rationality and elhciency.
All ol tlese argunents tied neatly witl tle conten¡orary debate on tle
ligl costs ol distribution. In tlis debate, tle ¡ackaged goods re¡resented
44. Tornqvist, G., Varudistributionens struktur och kostnader, ¡. 81-4.
45. Mayo, J. M., The American grocery store.
46. Tulvesson, I., Varuhandeln: igår, idag, imorgon, ¡. 41.
chapter 6 156
a break witl an old and inelhcient retail trade, and brouglt in sone ol
tle neclanization and nodernization tlat lad nade tle industry nore
rational and elhcient. Tlere was a desire to nininize nanual labor, to
neclanize, to scale u¡, and to assign tle riglt lunction to tle nost el-
hcient ¡lace in tle lood clain, in order to cut costs and arrive at lower
¡rices. Nevertleless, lor ¡ackaged goods to ¡revail tlere was tle ques-
tion ol creating trust.
Tle consuner lad to be ¡ersuaded tlat ¡ackaged
goods were nore reliable and nore desirable tlan tle un¡acked goods
sold by weiglt or quantity.
Tlere was ¡syclological and teclnical resistance against tle ¡ackag-
ing ol loodstulls. Tle argunent was tlat not all goods could be ¡re¡ack-
aged. Fruit and vegetables are living and need air to ¡reserve, wlile neat
takes on a dull color wlen it is cut u¡ and ke¡t lor a wlile. Tle retailers
clained tlat custoners liked to see botl lresl and cured neats to judge
tle quality. Pre¡ackaged bread was anotler tricky connodity wlicl
nade tle custoners sus¡icious. Il it was ¡re¡ackaged, naybe it was not
lresl today·
Tle clange towards ¡re¡ackaged goods was gradual and
tlere were ¡artial solutions wlere tle custoners were allowed to do sone
ol tle work. In tle 1950s custoners brouglt tleir own tin jug to hll u¡
witl nilk by tlenselves. Butter was also sold on a seni sell-service basis
so tlat less lonest custoners could ¡ut a lun¡ ol butter in tleir nilk jug.
Belore TetraPak nilk was also sold in nilk bottles ol glass ¡re¡ackaged
at tle dairy.

Tle ex¡ectations and desires ol tle consuners on tle one land, and
ol tle retailers and lood ¡roducers on tle otler land, continued to clasl.
Vlat constituted quality was subject to dillerent inter¡retations, and tle
lood industry lad to work lard to convince tle consuners. One tling
tlat did ¡lay into tle lands ol tle lood industry was tle lygienic con-
cerns and tle lear ol otler ¡eo¡le`s lands toucling your lood. Tlis was
in lact used as an argunent in lavor ol tle industrially ¡roduced lood.
Meclanically ¡re¡ared and ¡ackaged, untoucled by lunan lands, it was
cast as nore lygienic, nore nodern and tlus nore desirable tlan tle
loods landled by clerks and vendors, wlose lygienic standards tle cus-
toner knew notling about.

47. To understand ¡ackaged goods as a story ¡rinarily ol creating trust tallies well
witl Giddens and low le sees trust and ex¡ert systens as tle consequences ol no-
48. Savas, G., Från handelsbod till stormarknad, ¡. 68-70.
49. Nyberg, A., Innovation in distribution channels, ¡. 118-120.
50. Virsall, N-L., Varudistributionen och dess kostnader, ¡. 64-67.
modernity in action 157
Tle consuners needed tine to ada¡t and learn to trust tle ¡re¡ack-
aged ¡roducts. Tle trust tley lad ¡ut in tle retailer was translerred to
tle nanulacturer. Since tley did not neet tle nanulacturer ¡ersonally,
tle ¡ackage served as a nediator between nanulacturer and consuner.
Tle ¡ackage slowly connunicated nore and nore inlornation sucl as
best-belore date and nore elaborate descri¡tions ol contents. Sone ol
tlese clanges were tle consequence ol legal neasures, otlers tle result
ol a desire to stand out and catcl tle attention ol tle consuner.

In tle 1920s and 1930s, tle idea ol ¡ackages was only to s¡eed u¡
counter service stores and nake tlen nore rational. Tle conce¡t ol sell-
service was still in tle ¡i¡eline (and tle lollowing cla¡ter will look nore
s¡ecihcally into sell-service). However, witlout nost goods neatly ¡re-
sented in ¡ackages, sell-service stores would not work. Hence, tle ¡rog-
ress ol tle ¡ackaging industry also ¡aved tle way lor tle ex¡ansion ol sell-
service stores and tle growtl ol nanulacturers` brands. Dry goods and
non-¡erislables, wlicl lave a long slell lile and a lairly stable denand,
were anong tle hrst to be sold in ¡ackages. Tlis was a way ol lessening
tle risks ol introducing tle new lornat ol ¡re¡ackaged ¡roducts.

Tle introduction ol ¡re¡ackaged goods was a ra¡id translornation,
and in a natter ol a lew decades it lad con¡letely altered tle ¡rereq-
uisites ol tle consun¡tion landsca¡e. Pre¡ackaged goods are in several
ways tle antitlesis ol tle narket lall. Tle ¡re¡ackaged turned lresl
loods into sta¡les, craltsnansli¡ into nass-¡roduction, and distinctive
claracter into connon¡lace. It also ollered a consistent, lonogenous
quality and unbeatable ¡rices. Tlis was es¡ecially tle case once tle retail
trade lad succeeded in rationalizing itsell into tle sell-service era, as will
be seen in tle lollowing cla¡ter. But belore tlat, it is necessary to return
to tle narket lall, and see low it lared in tlis era ol rationalization and
The shadow of the market hall
In tlis ¡re-¡ackaged new world, tle narket lall lad lost its ¡lace as tle
ßagsli¡ ol nodernity tlat was assigned to it in tle Swedisl debate ol tle
late nineteentl and early twentietl century. Now tle narket lall seened
obsolete and outdated. In tle vision ol tle ca¡ital city, arclitects and city
¡lanners lad no roon lor narket lalls. As we saw in tle ¡revious cla¡-
51. Torell, U. & Lee, J., °Talande ¡aket. Butiksrun, lor¡ackningar ocl
lorsaljningens konnunikativa lornerº, In U Torell, R Qvarsell & J Lee (eds.),
Burkar, påsar och paket, lortlconing.
52. Nyberg, A., Innovation in distribution channels, ¡. 116-118.
chapter 6 158
ters, tle ¡etitions lor narket lalls lad declined steadily during tle 1920s,
to becone virtually a non-issue by tle 1930s. Tlere was sin¡ly no need
lor narket lalls wlen tlere were snall neiglborlood stores in every cor-
By tle 1930s, tle snall neiglborlood stores lad virtually ßooded tle
lood narket and tle con¡etition was intense. Tle vast najority ol tle
lood stores were in lact quite snall. Out ol tle 20,847 lood stores in tle
lood retail con¡any census in 1931, only 183 lad nore tlan ten en¡loy-
Tle snall retailers were hglting to guard tle nicle tley lad carved
out lor tlenselves, wlere being botl geogra¡lically and ¡ersonally close
to tle custoners neant good business. Tley lad to con¡ly witl tle
53. Tornqvist, G., Varudistributionens struktur och kostnader, ¡. 172-5.
3.3 Hötorget market-hall behind the scenes.
Lennart af Petersens, 1940-1954, Stockholms Stadsmuseum.
modernity in action 159
needs ol tle custoners and adjust to tle su¡¡liers. Tleir snall size neant
tlat tleir bargaining ¡ower was weak and tley could not ¡roht lron any
structural rationalizations. Still, tle lact tlat tley were accessible lor cus-
toners, witl tleir geogra¡lic ¡osition and long o¡ening lours, neant
tlat tley at least lad a strategic advantage relative to tle narket lall.
Tle narket lall lad alnost all tle disadvantages ol tle traditional
snall-scale counter service stores. tle individual vendors con¡eted
against one anotler, and tleir stores were snall in size, wlicl neant tlat
tleir bargaining ¡ower against su¡¡liers and custoners was just as in-
signihcant as lor tle neiglborlood stores. Tle advantage ol attracting
business because ol a wide assortnent and re¡utation lor good quality
dininisled wlen tle narket lalls received less interest lron tle autlori-
ties wlo acted botl as landlord and as s¡onsor ol tle narket lall idea.
Tle ¡renises were not as nodern as tley were wlen tle narket lalls
were hrst built, and renovations were delayed. As a result, tle narket lall
seened rundown, es¡ecially in con¡arison witl tle new stores wlere
tle window dis¡lays and tle interior httings reßected tle latest laslion.
Tle narket lall stores were disadvantaged in yet anotler as¡ect, as tley
lad no window dis¡lays to attract custoners. In tle 1927 narket lall
¡ro¡osal lor Oden¡lan, tlis leature was one ol tle advantages. Tlis lall
would run ¡arallel witl tle street, and allow lor window dis¡lays lor ev-
ery store. Tle narket lall lailed to con¡ly witl tle connercial language
and tle ideals ol rationality tlat sti¡ulated tlat tle quality ol a store was
dis¡layed in tle window. Tle silent laçade ol tle narket lall s¡oke ol a
dillerent connercial logic, a dillerent rationality.
Sone ol tle snaller narket lalls sucl as Maria narket lall lad al-
ready disa¡¡eared, even il tle tlree large ones, Hotorget, Östernaln and
tle Central narket lall, renained. Hotorget and Östernaln ¡robably
survived owing to tle o¡en-air narkets outside tle narket lalls, wlicl
ensured a steady strean ol custoners. Botl Hotorget and Östernaln also
lad a lew stores ol in¡ortant size already by 1946, wlicl nay lave lel¡ed
tle lalls naintain tleir con¡etitive advantage.
Tle Central narket lall
on tle otler land was close to tle new Klara wlolesale narket lall and
also engaged in wlolesale, even il sone ol tle retail sales ¡ersisted. Still,
Hotorget narket lall was renodeled and lidden underground. Öster-
naln narket lall just nanaged to esca¡e denolition by being granted
listed building status.
54. Tlese bigger stores actually still exist. G Nilsson in Hotorget, and Segers and
Lisa Llnqvist in tle Östernaln narket lall. Tle owners lave clanged, even il tle
Llnqvist store still renains in tle sane lanily as ol 2009. See Gerentz, S. & Ottosson,
J., Handel och köpmän i Stockholm under ett sekel, ¡. 307.
chapter 6 160
Tlat tle narket lalls were no longer ¡erceived as wonders ol noder-
nity niglt also be attributed to tle undeniable lact tlat tley were cold
and drauglty, and con¡ared to tle nodern stores tley did not oller tle
sane convenience. In a connenorative book ol tle Klara wlolesale dis-
trict, one ol tle old veterans lron tle Central narket lall bore witness
to tle cold and in¡ractical working conditions. In winter tine, ten¡era-
tures could be around ninus seven or eiglt degrees on Monday norn-
ings, since tle lall lad no central leating. Tle vendors used kerosene
leaters, and nade tents ol tar¡aulin wlere tley lit hres in buckets ol sand
drencled in netlylated s¡irits. Tlere was only one ¡lace in tle lall wlere
tlere was lot water, and tlere were always lines waiting lor tle lot water
ta¡. Tle entrance to tle cold storage was too snall, and tle dillerence in
level inside tle building contributed to tle leavy work. To nake natters
worse, tle naintenance was always delayed by tle nanaging director Kar-
lol, according to tle vendors.
Ivar Karlol, wlo was director lron 1940 to
1965, could reasonably be ex¡ected to wisl to kee¡ tle costs down in tlis
tine ¡eriod ol vast restructuring ol lood distribution.
Alter tle Second Vorld Var, tle interest in narket lalls lad dehnitely
declined. Yet, a lew towns issued investigations ol ¡ossible narket lalls.
But tle re¡orts were unaninous in tleir conclusions. narket lalls were
out ol date. Instead, decentralized systens ol lood stores were nore in
line witl consuner ex¡ectations and town ¡lanning. Selling neat and
hsl on tle o¡en air narkets was lardly a ¡ervasive ¡lenonenon any-
nore, wlicl neant tlat tle lygienic reasons lor building narket lalls
lad vanisled as well.

As late as in 1957, tle Gavle town council received a ¡etition lor a nar-
ket lall. In tle rejection ol tle ¡ro¡osal, tle town council ex¡lained tlat
tle town lad never belore lad a narket lall, and to build one now would
denand a con¡lete nakeover ol tle consuning ¡ublic`s ¡urclase ¡at-
terns, wlicl was unlikely to occur. Tle nodern sell-service stores already
hlled every need ol tle consuner and every connodity nentioned in tle
¡etition lor a new narket lall.

Tle town veterinarian, wlo lad been consulted, viewed narket lalls
and o¡en air narkets as rennants lron a distant ¡ast. Tley were lron
55. Tilstan, R., Livet i Klarahallarna, ¡. 42.
56. ºFraga on salulallº 47.349, 48.39, Svenska stadsförbundets tidskrift: organ för Sveri-
ges städer, köpingar och municipalsamhällen, Svenska stadslorbundet, Stockloln, 1909-
57. Salulall, avslag on inrattande 57.309 Svenska stadsförbundets tidskrift: organ för
Sveriges städer, köpingar och municipalsamhällen, Svenska stadslorbundet, Stockloln,
modernity in action 161
wlen ¡roducers and consuners engaged in direct trade. By tle late 1950s,
tle lood su¡¡ly was alnost exclusively tle concern ol large ¡roducer
coo¡eratives. In tle old days, tle town veterinarian ex¡lained, tle lood
trade was centralized, but witl nodern stores it lad becone increasingly
decentralized. Nowadays it was ¡ossible to buy all tle lood you desired
in an all-¡ur¡ose lood store, and nodern town ¡lanning always ¡re¡ared
lor tlese stores.

Tle town veterinarian concluded by saying tlat tlis develo¡nent lad
been initiated by tle consuners` denands lor laster service, and a narket
lall in a central location would result in no naterial advantages. In lact,
it would be quite larnlul to tle decentralized lood stores by ¡ulling cus-
toners away. Tlis in turn would lave negative ellects on lygiene, since
less econonically-sound stores lad a tendency to lag belind in lygienic
natters. As lor tle existing narket lalls in tle country, nost ol tlen
were older and con¡letely dehcient as regards lygienic and econonic as-
¡ects. Many were ¡artly en¡ty, just waiting lor urban renewal to swee¡
tlen away.

During tle 1940s, wlen tle ¡lans lor urban renewal ol tle central
¡arts ol Stockloln were under discussion, tle City Planning Olhce ¡ro-
¡osed to re¡lace tle old dila¡idated Hotorget narket lall witl a new one.
Tle Stockloln Clanber ol Connerce was not lavorable to tlis ¡ro¡osal,
and since tley considered narket lalls to be outdated, tley reconnended
against sucl a wastelul use ol valuable land.
Tle Stockloln Clanber
ol Connerce re¡resented connercial interests and tle business con-
nunity. Tley were anxious to enact lively connerce, and tlereby create
a con¡etitive city center. In tleir visions ol tle luture retail landsca¡e,
tlere was no roon lor narket lalls in any sla¡e or lorn. Tle conce¡t ol
quality and rationality enbraced by tle Clanber ol Connerce evidently
regarded tle narket lall as an obsolete, un¡rohtable lorn ol trade.
Tle nanaging director ol tle Stockloln narket lalls, Ivar Karlol,
undertook an investigation in 1952. He ex¡lained tlat tle land lad in
lact been reserved lor tle ¡ur¡ose ol su¡¡lying lood back in 1829. Fur-
tlernore, tle sales in tle Hotorget narket lall anounted to nine nillion
SLK ¡er annun, quite an in¡ressive hgure at tle tine. Tle narket lall
58. Salulall, avslag on inrattande 57.309 Svenska stadsförbundets tidskrift: organ för
Sveriges städer, köpingar och municipalsamhällen, Svenska stadslorbundet, Stockloln,
59. Salulall, avslag on inrattande 57.309 Svenska stadsförbundets tidskrift: organ för
Sveriges städer, köpingar och municipalsamhällen, Svenska stadslorbundet, Stockloln,
60. Nordin, C., Oordning, ¡. 203.
chapter 6 162
also lad certain unique ¡ro¡erties to reconnend it. a wide selection ol
loods lron dillerent categories and o¡en con¡etition between bigger and
snaller hrns in a dehned s¡ace. Tlis neant tlat tle consuners were able
to con¡are ¡rices and qualities and slo¡ around in greatest convenience
belore naking tleir ¡urclases. In addition, Karlol ¡ointed out tlat tle
service was quick and ¡ersonal. To lurtler argue lis case, tle nanaging
director ol tle Stockloln narket lalls con¡ared tle elhciency and ¡ro-
ductivity ol tle narket lall to tlat ol ordinary retail stores. In lis investi-
gation, tle narket lalls slowed a greater turnover, ligler ¡roduct qual-
ity, and a nore varied assortnent. Tle costs lor rents and salaries were
also lower in tle narket lall, wlicl added to its advantages.

Tlis investigation was undertaken belore tle sell-service lornat lad
reacled its later ex¡onential ex¡ansion. In 1952, tlere were about one
tlousand sell-service stores. Ten years later tlere were alnost seven tlou-
sand, witl tle sell-service stores re¡resenting 40 ¡er cent ol all tle lood
trade in Sweden.
It is true tlat even tle nunber ol stores in 1952 niglt
lave indicated tlat tle winds ol clange were swee¡ing over Sweden, con-
sidering low hve years earlier tlere lad been only two stores in tle entire
country. Nonetleless, tle najority ol tle stores were still counter service
stores in 1952, and we need to consider tle ¡osition ol tle nanaging di-
rector ol tle Stockloln narket lalls. For lin to declare tlat tle narket
lalls under lis su¡ervision were ¡rohtable, would in¡ly tlat tlere was a
rational and ligl quality ollering ol lood.
Still, tle city center, or Nedre Norrnaln, was deteriorating ra¡idly.
As tle city ¡lanning was delayed, tle ¡rocess ol deterioration was accel-
erated. Fron 1949, tle City Hall coo¡erated witl Stockloln Sclool ol
Lcononics in order to address tle dilhcult issue ol tle luture ol tle inner
city. In 1952, tle hrst results ol tlis researcl coo¡eration were ¡resented,
and six years later a nore tlorougl re¡ort on tle urban lood su¡¡ly was
¡ublisled. Tle re¡ort resulted in tle localization ol tle wlolesale lood
trade to Årsta in 1962.

Tle tine was ¡ro¡itious lor restructuring ol tle retail trade. Tle re-
sult ol tle distribution investigation lron 1953-55 was clear. it was tine
to s¡eed u¡ tle translornations ol tle retail trade. Tlis entailed new
61. Nordin, C., Oordning, ¡. 203.
62. Tle ¡eak cane in 1966 wlen tlere were 9,076 sell-service stores in Sweden. Alter
tlis year, tle nunber ol stores decreased, but tle total sales area increased. See Ny-
berg, A., Innovation in distribution channels, ¡. 112, Gerentz, S. & Ottosson, J., Handel och
köpmän i Stockholm under ett sekel, ¡. 314.
63. Gerentz, S. & Ottosson, J., Handel och köpmän i Stockholm under ett sekel, ¡. 285-286,
Adler, L., Storstaden och färskvaruförsörjningen.
modernity in action 163
town ¡lanning, witl intensihed slun-clearance and rationalizations, but
also new ¡ricing ¡olicies, nore con¡etition, introduction ol sell-service,
lree o¡ening lours, and nonitoring tle ¡otential evils ol tle oligo¡olis-
tic tendencies ol tle retail trade.
In tlis ¡eriod ol extrene rationaliza-
tions and consolidation ol tle lood trade, tle narket lalls were receding
into tle sladows. Tle era ol tle sell-service store was about to translorn
tle retail landsca¡e ol Sweden.
64. Varudistributionsutredningen, Pris och prestation i handeln: Varudistributionsutred-
ningens betänkande, Stockloln, 1955.
Distribution and retail:
the silent revolution?
Standardizing consumers, standardizing retail
It is ¡ossible to argue tlat tle Fordist node ol ¡roduction and consun¡-
tion led to a desire to rationalize alnost every as¡ect ol lile. Tle urban
studies sclolar Saskia Sassen, anong otlers, ¡oints to low tlis node
lavored standardization, since tlere was a large najority ol well-¡aid
workers and nenbers ol tle lower niddle-classes wlo lad tle o¡¡ortu-
nity to denand goods on a scale tlat was litlerto un¡recedented.
In tle
¡ost-war era, tle ellects ol tle industrial rationalizations tlus resulted in
botl nass ¡roduction and nass consun¡tion. During tlis ¡eriod, nany
lousewives started working outside tle lone on a nore regular basis,
wlicl also called lor sin¡licity, and an as¡iration to rationalize everyday
lile to neet tle denands ol nodernity.
Seni-nanulactured and nanulactured loods were ¡art ol tlis de-
sire lor an easier everyday lile, wlere tlere was roon lor wives to work.
To buy standardized lood ¡roducts was ¡erceived as a way to enbrace
1. Sassen, S., The global city, ¡. 337-340.
chapter 7 166
nodernity in tle 1950s and 1960s.
Tlis ol course runs counter to tle
idea ol tle narket lall as we know it today, witl its wide selection ol
various delicacies and s¡ecialties as its lallnark. During tle hrst lall ol
tle twentietl century, tle gastrononic sell-conhdence ol tle Swedes was
abysnal, and overall tle ¡restige ol gastronony was very weak. Food was
luel, not ¡leasure.
Tle struggle between tle advocates ol nodernity and
tle gastronones was tlus an uneven battle in a Sweden so enra¡t witl
¡rogress and rationality. Tle consuner was to be granted access to sale
and nodern lood ¡roducts, and tlis usually neant standardized, indus-
trially ¡roduced goods.

Tle new industrial loodsca¡e was denocratic in its sco¡e. it was in-
tended lor all citizens, but tle ¡erson res¡onsible lor introducing tle ar-
ticles into tle lone was tle lousewile. Tle lousewile was olten relerred
to as tle °¡urclasing nanager ol tle loneº, and ler ¡erlornance was a
natter allecting tle national econony. Tlis way ol lraning tle louse-
wile was slared by social relorners and connercial interests alike.
nake sure tlat sle internalized nodernity was tlus crucial. Il sle liked
tle new ¡roducts develo¡ed by tle lood industry and su¡¡orted by re-
searcl institutes sucl as SIK, Statens institute lor konserveringsteknik
(wlicl translates into tle State Institute lor Preservation Teclniques),
tlen tle country would continue down tle liglway to nodernity.

In tlis context, ler slo¡¡ing labits and low sle s¡ent tle lanily
budget cane under scrutiny. In tle ¡ost-war world, tle ideal ¡rescribed
tlat tle nodern lousewile slould want to s¡end ler tine in a rational
nanner and not lose tine in slow counter service stores or in tiresone
journeys to tle city center wlere nost narket lalls were located. Sle
would want to do ler slo¡¡ing in a sell-service store close to ler lone.
2. Boalt, C. & Neynark, M., ºMat var dag. ett kvinnogoraº, Den okända vardagen : om
arbetet i hemmen., ¡. 115-153, 293-294.
3. Metzger, J., I köttbullslandet, ¡. 126-137.
4. Ann Vilesis accounts lor tle sane tendencies and develo¡nents in tle US in ler
study lron 2008. See Vileisis, A., Kitchen literacy.
5. See Niskanen, K., Karriär i männens värld. lor tle work ol Karin Kock on tle eco-
nonic researcl about lousework, Aléx, P., Den rationella konsumenten, lor an account
ol tle ideology ol tle lousewile as °tle ninister ol hnanceº, Åkernan, B., 'Korgens
nakt. kvinnorna ocl koo¡erationen`, Vi kan, vi behövs!, ¡. 75-96, lor an account by one
ol tle nain hgures in tle social relorn novenent, and trade nagazines like Svenska
förpackningar nr 3-4,1951, lor conten¡orary stereoty¡ed inages ol tle lousewile.
6. For an account ol tle social and cultural context wlere SIK evolved, see Holn-
berg, G., ºVetenska¡ ocl livsnedelsindustri. Svenska institutet lor konserverings-
lorskningº, Lychnos: Årsbok för idé- och lärdomshistoria 2005, 199-218.
distribution and retail: the silent revolution? 167
(Lventually tlis idea ol ¡roxinity would disa¡¡ear and tle size ol tle
store would be tle deternining lactor).
Here sle would ¡eruse tle aisles ol tle sell-service store, ler attention
cauglt by various inlornative and colorlul ¡ackages conveying tle nes-
sage ol nodernity and novelty to tle ¡urclasing nanager ol tle lone.
Canned goods and seni-nanulactures would rouse ler interest. TV din-
ners and new louselold a¡¡liances would enter ler lone. More and
nore exotic ¡roducts and elaborate ¡ackages would hll tle sell-service
store, and allow ler to always serve ler collee lresl. already roasted and
grounded by tle collee roasters.

As tle sell-service stores cane onto tle scene in tle 1950s, lresl ¡ro-
duce was no longer tle nost desirable connodity lor tle retailers to
stock. Tle delicate lresl ¡rinary ¡roduce was dilhcult to landle in tle
sell-service lornat. Fresl lruit and vegetables, neat and dairy, were dil-
hcult to ¡re¡ackage and to ¡reserve. Instead, tle ¡ackaging industry and
tle retailers ¡ro¡agated an ideal ol a consuner wlo denanded last and
rational ways ol buying and ¡re¡aring lood, and wlo deliglted in canned
7. Arvidsson, M., °Ratt ¡ackad. Visuella ocl verbala strategier lor att vinna Fru Kon-
sunents tillit vid 1900-talets nittº & Lee, J., °Kallet. Butikens alskade ¡roblenbarnº,
In U. Torell, R. Qvarsell & J. Lee (eds.), Burkar, påsar och paket. Förpackningarnas historia
i vardagens konsumtionskulturer, lortlconing.
7.1 Standardized store-architecture by the cooperative movement.
Andersson, (SMÅA), 1934, Stockholms Stadsmuseum.
chapter 7 168
and lrozen loods, seni-nanulactures, and instant neals, all bouglt at
one-sto¡ slo¡¡ing tle sell-service grocery store.

Tle nodern lousewile did not always acce¡t tle clanges envisioned
lor ler, and tlere were nany discussions as to low to convince tle con-
suner ol tle benehts ol tle sell-service store. A large survey was carried
out in 1955 about ¡ackaging, sell-service stores, and ¡urclasing labits,
to see wlat tle consuner valued and longed lor.
But already in 1946,
anotler study lad been undertaken. Interestingly, belore tle actual in-
troduction ol sell-service, tle consuners did not ¡lace s¡eed at tle to¡ ol
tleir list ol requirenents lor cloosing a lood store. Instead, ¡ersonal ser-
vice, lood quality, and ¡rice were ranked ligler.
Clearly, tle dehnition
ol rationality as being tle cliel claracteristic ol quality was not anclored
in tle ninds ol tle consuners, es¡ecially since econonic rationality in
terns ol lower lood ¡rices was not ¡art ol tle rationality ¡ackage intend-
ed lor tle consuners.

Lggs oller anotler exan¡le ol low tlere was a nisnatcl between tle
rationalization ol tle lood industries and tle ex¡ectations ol tle con-
suners. Modern large-scale ¡roduction neant tlat eggs could be lad on
a new scale tlan was ¡ossible ¡reviously. Not only could nore eggs be
¡roduced, tley could be ¡roduced all year round. Belore industrial ag-
riculture, lens only laid eggs during tle s¡ring and sunner. In winter,
tlere was not enougl liglt, and consequently tle lens did not lay eggs.
Vitl artihcial liglt, lens could be tricked into laying eggs outside tleir
natural season. Tle winter eggs ¡rovoked discussions ol autlenticity and
8. Freidberg, S., Fresh: A Perishable History.
9. See U al Trolle (ed.), Konsumentförpackningen ur konsumentsynpunkt, Goteborg. Insti-
tutet lor distributionsekononisk ocl adninistrativ lorskning vid Handelslogskolan
i Goteborg (IDAF), 1959.
10. For a sunnary ol tle 1946 study see Vi går och handlar, Stockloln. Radiotjanst,
1950, s. 11ll.
11. Tle lact tlat tle Coo¡erative novenent did not ¡ass on tle econonic benehts
directly to its nenbers was due to tle lact tlat tley wisled to retain ca¡ital lor a con-
version ol all stores belore tle consuners would be able to take advantage ol tle sav-
ings. Also, it was a question ol solidarity. Tle ¡rices ol sell-service and counter service
stores were at tle sane level, so tlat not only tlose lortunate enougl to live close to
tle lew initial sell-service stores would take advantage ol sonetling tlat rigltlully
belonged to all tle nenbers. Tle initiative was a¡¡lauded by Nils-Lrik Virsall ol
tle ¡rivate retailers` coo¡erative ICA. He liked tle locus on tine savings ratler tlan
econonic savings lor tle consuner. Tlat would lel¡ raise tle ¡roht nargins lor tle
lard-squeezed retailers. See Kjellberg, H. & Helgesson, C.-F., °Tle node ol exclange
and sla¡ing ol narkets. Distributor inßuence in tle Swedisl ¡ost-war lood indus-
tryº, Industrial Marketing Management 36 (2007) 861878.
distribution and retail: the silent revolution? 169
quality. Vere tlese actually real eggs· Vould not tle quality suller·
In a
way, wlat we see lere is low contending dehnitions ol quality, rational-
ity, and autlenticity clasl. Tle industrial hx ol tle biological linits ol
¡oultry was celebrated as a rational nanner ol landling lood ¡roduction.
Tle consuner lesitated, and issues ol autlenticity took tle center stage.
Quality was lere inter¡reted by tle ske¡tical lousewives, nore in terns
ol autlenticity tlan strict econonic and ¡ractical rationality.
Tle deliglts ol dee¡-lrozen loods, or °lroodsº as one Britisl con¡any
narketed tleir dee¡-lrozen, ready-nade disles, were not as entlusiasti-
cally endorsed by tle lousewives as tle ex¡erts ex¡ected. Trade naga-
zines re¡orted on tle wonderlul lood stores witlout seasons, wlere you
could lave wlolly lresl vegetables even on a cold February norning,
strawberries lor Clristnas, and a rack ol venison outside ol tle lunt-
ing season. Tlere was no end to tle joys ol dee¡-lreezing in tle journal`s
Tle consuner, again, was lesitant. Dee¡-lrozen loods lad
acquired a bad re¡utation initially, since nany store owners and clerks
were unlaniliar witl tle new teclnology and let tle loods delreeze and
relreeze again, wlicl allected botl tle lreslness and tle taste. Tle con-
suner also was unlaniliar witl dee¡-lrozen loods and olten did not lave
a lreezer at lone, wlicl considerably reduced tle advantage ol tle dee¡-
lreezing teclnique. But tle consuner was a snall obstacle in tle grand
sclene ol tlings. And il tle consuner did not know wlat was good lor
ler, tle ex¡erts did.

In tle social landsca¡e wlere ex¡erts reigned, consuner ¡olitics were
gaining increasing inßuence. Lx¡ertise was olten lunneled into lornal-
ized institutions, and ¡rogressive ideas ol tle snall relorn-ninded elite
were translated into ¡ractical ¡olitics. Hennets lorskningsinstitut, HFI,
wlicl translates into tle Researcl Institute ol tle Hone, is one sucl ex-
an¡le. Here lousework was studied in detail, designs lor tle nost ra-
tional kitclen na¡¡ed out, and standards set lor low a rational lone
slould be organized. Tle nessage was convened to tle ¡ublic in inlor-
national hlns and re¡orts. Tle stall working at HFI was well-connected
witl tle social denocratic olhcials, and tley were olten asked to ¡artici-
12. Freidberg, S., Fresh, ¡. 86-121. Tle exan¡le cones lron tle US, but tlere is no
reason to doubt tlat tle sane issues were under discussion in tle Swedisl context.
13. ºKylans segertag. Livsnedelsbutiken utan arstiderº, Butikskultur, nr 4, 1946.
14. Ol course, tle conservative nindset ol lenale consuners lad been a recurrent
con¡laint anong (nostly) nale relorners and inventors, as we lave seen in ¡revious
cla¡ters. For an account ol tle irrational lenale consuner as a tlreat to tle ratio-
nalizing ellorts ol tle retail trade, see lor exan¡le Hernansson, K., I persuadörernas
verkstad, ¡. 50-52.
chapter 7 170
¡ate in various re¡orts on consuner issues.
Modernity and rationality
were nanilest in every ¡olicy ol HFI, and tle anbition was to solve dil-
hcult louselold tasks and allow wonen nore lreedon to engage in nore
nodern and rational activities.
Tle nain hgures in tle Consuner Coo¡erative Movenent were ¡io-
neers in tlis centralistic order ol nodernity, and actively took ¡art in tle
discussions about tle consuner and tle new consun¡tion o¡¡ortuni-
ties. One way tley exerted tlis inßuence was tlrougl tle °ex¡erinental
kitclenº. Tle ex¡erinental kitclen ol tle coo¡erative novenent lacil-
itated tle introduction ol new goods, and lel¡ed to educate tle ¡ub-
lic in low to enbrace nodernity. Consuner ¡olitics tlus lad botl an
individual and a collective as¡ect, witl tle lousewile as an enblenatic
hgure ol tle new consuner and witl tle lone and lousework as tle lo-
cal arena ol consuner ¡olitics.
Here rationality was celebrated as a core
value. Tlrougl scientihc investigations and industrial innovations, lood
¡re¡aration would be reduced to a nininun, and tle consuner lree to
engage in nore wortlwlile activities.
Go West! Passion and resistance
Tle nain source ol ins¡iration and tle lavorite exan¡le lor tle lood
trade was tle US. Nunerous study tours were undertaken across tle At-
lantic to observe tle ¡ackaging industry, tle lood industry, and tle retail
trade. Already in tle 1930s, botl tle coo¡erative organization KF and
¡rivate retailers lron Hakonbolaget sent tleir re¡resentatives abroad to
study retailing and wlolesaling. Tle leature ol tle Anerican retail ex¡e-
rience tlat attracted tle nost vivid interest was tle new sell-service lor-
nat. During tle Second Vorld Var, tle activities were nore or less ¡ut
on lold, but lron 1946 and 1947, tle interest in tle sell-service lornat
was lurtler intensihed and study tours were again undertaken botl by
KF and by ¡rivate retailers. Nils Lrik Virsall, lor exan¡le, traveled to tle
US on belall ol Hakonbolaget, and wrote accounts ol lis travels, wlicl
were later discussed in tle Hakonbolaget regional councils. Trade naga-
15. Åkernan, B., “Korgens naktº, ¡. 75-96, 1983, ¡. 84-87, 90-93. Tle inßuence lron
tle US was clear lere also. For an account ol tle Anerican ex¡erience see Goldstein,
C., “Lducating Consuners, Re¡resenting Consuners. Relorning tle Market¡lace
tlrougl Scientihc Lx¡ertise at tle Bureau ol Hone Lcononics, United States De-
¡artnent ol Agriculture, 1923-1940º, In A. Clatriot, M-L. Clessel & M. Hilton (eds.),
The expert consumer, ¡. 73-88.
16. Åkernan, B., “Korgens naktº, ¡. 75-96, 1983, ¡. 90-93, Niskanen, K., Karriär i
männens värld, ¡. 159-201.
distribution and retail: the silent revolution? 171
zines did series on sell-service in tle US and Luro¡e, and on tle initial
atten¡ts in Sweden to assess tle luture ol tle lornat.

Sending re¡resentatives on study tours was one way lor tle central or-
ganizations to su¡¡ort tle introduction ol sell-service. Tle central orga-
nizations ol Hakonbolaget and tle coo¡erative novenent botl believed
in tle sell-service lornat as tle way ol tle luture. As a result, tley were
active in ¡ronoting sell-service anong tleir nenbers.
Because ol tleir
size, tle inßuence ol tle coo¡erative novenent and Hakonbolaget lad
enornous in¡lications lor tle develo¡nent ol tle Swedisl retail trade.
Vitlout tle active su¡¡ort ol two big organizations, tle ex¡ansion ol tle
sell-service store ¡robably would lave been nucl slower. Tlis also gives
tle two big actors, ICA and KF, a con¡etitive advantage over tle snaller
non-alhliated retailers. Moreover, tle tining is ol consequence. it coin-
cides witl tle rise ol tle wellare state, witl its social engineers and beliels
in big, rational decisions. Rationality was a quality all ol its own.

Nevertleless, tle nenbers were not as convinced and ¡ositive as tle
to¡ nanagenent in Hakonbolaget. Most ol tle nenbers ol ICA believed
sell-service lad ¡otential, but was not lor tlen. Sell-service would be best
in large towns, and ¡relerably in tle new residential areas, so tlat exist-
ing retailers would not be driven out ol business. Yet, a strong incentive
lor nany ol tle ICA retailers was to introduce tle systen ol sell-service
belore tle Consuner coo¡eratives did so.

Sell-service was at hrst ¡erceived nore as a lornat s¡ecihc to tle US,
and not necessarily suited to Swedisl conditions. An olten cited exan-
¡le cones lron a 1943 edition ol tle ICA nagazine, wlere tle editorial
ex¡ressed concerns tlat sell-service would not lave a luture in Sweden,
since Swedes lad sucl a dillerent ten¡eranent lron Anericans.
dillerence in ten¡eranent seens to lave been a wides¡read notion used
to ex¡lain reticence towards US innovation, and even il Sweden was tle
nost Anericanized country in Luro¡e, tle develo¡nent lere would
¡robably take a dillerent course.
Tle sell-service su¡¡orter Nils Lrik
Virsall did not agree witl tlis. According to lin, tlere were no reasons
17. Nyberg, A., Innovation in distribution channels, ¡. 99-101. See lor exan¡le Butikskul-
tur, nr 2, 1946, Butikskultur, nr 3 1946, Butikskultur, nr 5 1947, Svenska förpackningar, nr
2, 1948, Svenska förpackningar, nr 3-4, 1951, Fri köpenskap, nr 35, 1953, Fri köpenskap,
nr 36, 1953, Fri köpenskap, nr 49-50, 1953.
18. Nyberg, A., Innovation in distribution channels, ¡. 110-111.
19. Aléx, P., Den rationella konsumenten, ¡. 202-203.
20. Nyberg, A., Innovation in distribution channels, ¡. 99-101.
21. Nyberg, A., Innovation in distribution channels, ¡. 99-101, Kjellberg, H., Organising
distribution, ¡. 131-133.
22. ºLlter su¡er. su¡er-du¡erº, Butikskultur nr 10, 1948.
chapter 7 172
to lear tlat Swedisl lousewives would react any dillerently tlan Aneri-
can lousewives, wlo lad lully enbraced tle sell-service lornat. But in
order lor tle sell-service lornat to ¡revail, tle ¡ackaged goods lad to
becone tle norn.

Tle old local lood regulations lad to be lilted as well. In lact, tle strict
lygienic rules and regulations were no longer necessary. Innovation in
lygiene and ¡ackaging, along witl nodern equi¡nent and naclinery,
rendered tle old rules su¡erßuous. But a nore unihed and rational dis-
tribution was lan¡ered by tle old rules in otler ways as well. Since dil-
lerent rules niglt a¡¡ly in dillerent ways, de¡ending on tle local rules ol
cities and nunici¡alities, it was in¡ossible to aclieve econonies ol scale
wlen you lad to ada¡t to diverse legal lraneworks.

Virsall voiced tle argunents lor a rational retail trade nore in lar-
nony witl tle new ¡ossibilities ollered by innovations in tle ¡ackaging
and lood industry. Mucl ol tle innovations in ¡ackaging and lood in-
dustry were ins¡ired by innovations in tle US, and tle US was ¡erceived
as tle e¡itone ol sliny nodernity and econonic success - an exan¡le lor
Sweden to lollow.
But not everyone was dazzled by tle nodern US exan¡le. Tle new
sell-service lornat was contrasted witl tle existing counter service store
systen, and tle con¡arison ins¡ired lear ol losing tle ¡ersonal toucl.
Tle conviviality ol tle nanual store would ¡erla¡s eva¡orate in tle new
sell-service stores, wlere tlere would be lewer vendors to talk to and old
¡eo¡le niglt lave dilhculties ada¡ting.
Tle lear ol tle new lornat was
linked to lear ol social clange and altered social relations. Vould tle so-
cial labric be torn asunder, and lriendly snall talk relegated to a rennant
ol tle ¡ast· Vould tle conservative consuners really acce¡t ¡erlorning
tasks litlerto undertaken by clerks·
Tle res¡onse ol tle intended consuners to sell-service was initially
undecided. Consuner interest grou¡s leared tlat consuners would not
be able to landle tle sell-service lornat, and would overs¡end in tle be-
ginning ol tle nontl wlen tle control ol tle retailer disa¡¡eared.
tle subsequent re¡orts seened to counter tle initial lears. Vitl lead-
lines like °Sell-service is tle lutureº or °No nervous 60 year olds in tle
sell-service storesº, and encouraging success stories ol conversions to
sell-service, tle trade nagazines ¡resented an inage ol a consuner wlo
23. Virsall, N-L., `Sjalvbetjaningsallarens lrantid i Sverige` In Morgondagens svenska
marknad, ¡. 198-206.
24. Virsall, N-L., ºSjalvbetjaningsallarens lrantid i Sverigeº, ¡. 198-206.
25. Savas, G., Från handelsbod till stormarknad, ¡. 72-4.
26. Nyberg, A., Innovation in distribution channels, ¡. 99-101.
distribution and retail: the silent revolution? 173
quickly ada¡ted to tle new lornat. In lact, counter service stores re¡ort-
ed tlat tley lad dilhculties landling custoners serving tlenselves as il
in a sell-service store.

Tlere was resistance lron ¡roducers and retailers against tle sell-
service lornat as well. Tle resistance was botl ¡syclological and tecl-
nical. Tle ¡roducers saw no reason to clange tleir ¡ackaging ¡ractices
and start ¡roducing ¡ackages destined lor tle hnal consuner. Tley were
quite la¡¡y delivering tleir goods in tle existing ¡ackaging tlat was
used to ¡rotect tle goods as tley were trans¡orted lron tle nanulactur-
ers to tle store. To ¡roduce consuner ¡ackages would denand a lot ol
new investnents. Tle retailers were anxious to kee¡ tle costs down and
lad no wisl to ¡ay lor tle lancy equi¡nent ol lood nanulacturers. In
tleir view, tle stall niglt as well do tle re¡ackaging ol sta¡les like sugar
and ßour into tle ¡re¡ackaged store wra¡¡ing tlat was connon in tle
counter service stores. Tlis was considered a good way ol using tle slow
tines so as to not ¡ay tle stall lor doing notling.

Tle resistance was tlus botl on tle level ol tle retailers and ol tle
nanulacturers and ¡roducers. Tlis new ¡ackaging business seened to de-
nand an awlul lot ol investnents, new routines, and ollered no tangible
advantages. As a natter ol lact, tle actual ¡ackaging teclnique was not
nature enougl until tle 1950s, wlen it hnally was ¡ossible to slow low
using ¡ackages and sell-service would lead to reduced distribution costs
and greater ¡rohts. Fron 1950 to 1951 tlere is a giant lea¡ in tle volune
ol ¡ackaging, es¡ecially ¡a¡er and carton ¡ackages wlicl doubled in a
Traces ol tle resistance to ¡ackaging can be seen in tle ¡ervasive
connunication strategies by tle leading ¡ackaging con¡any in Sweden,
Åkerlund & Rausing. Tley ¡roduced a trade nagazine on Swedisl ¡ack-
aging, Svenska Förpackningar, lron 1937 to 1958. Tlis ¡eriod corres¡onds
in large to tle great ¡ackaging and sell-service ex¡ansion. Tle lact tlat
tle ¡ackaging industry lelt tle need to ¡resent tle new ¡ackages and
ex¡lain tle cost savings and increased sales due to ¡ro¡er ¡ackaging can
27. See lor exan¡le “Hjal¡ kunden valja i borjan nen lanna lenne i lred i tid!º Fri
köpenskap Nr 4, 1952, “Inga nervosa 60-aringar i sjalvbetjaningsbutikenº, Fri köpenskap
nr 42, 1952, “Luro¡eisk SB i FK-serieº Fri köpenskap nr 49-50, 1953 or “Anerikansk
detaljlandel. Sell service ocl kundbetjaningº Nr 5, 1947 Butikskultur; “Sjalvbetjaning
i stocklolnslorort ex¡erinentlalt lor inredningsnyttº, nr 6, 1948 Butikskultur; “Sjalv-
betjaning lrantidens nelodiº, Nr 2, 1950 Butikskultur.
28. Savas, G., Från handelsbod till stormarknad, ¡. 68-9, L Holnqvist & A Alsterdal (eds.),
Folket vid varufloden, ¡. 314-317.
29. “Konsunentlor¡ackningens ekononiº, Svenska förpackningar, Nr 3-4, 1959, ¡.
chapter 7 174
be inter¡reted as a sign ol tle reluctance anong lood ¡roducers to invest
in tle new naclinery necessary. But sell-service was gaining nonentun
and its teclnologies ¡resented as tle nost rational res¡onse ol retail in
tlese nodern tines.
The self-service format
Tle Piggly Viggly Cor¡oration is olten said to be tle hrst sell-service
store ever. Tle nan belind Piggly Viggly, Clarles Saunders, leld a ¡at-
ent lor tle design ol lis Piggly Viggly stores. Saunders` idea was to nove
tle stock-roon out into tle actual store and to dis¡lay tle goods in a
tastelul and ten¡ting way. Tle stores were snall and organized like laby-
rintls. Tle custoners lad to zigzag tlrougl tle store and ¡ay at tle exit
(see ¡lotogra¡l 6.1 on ¡age 141). Saunders a¡¡lied lor a ¡atent in Swe-
den as well, and was granted ¡atent nunber 53964, class 37.l on tle 13tl
ol October 1920.
However, tle atten¡t to ¡atent tle idea ol sell-service
on a worldwide scale lailed. Vlat is interesting about tlis atten¡t is tlat
tle idea ol letting tle custoners serve tlenselves seened so revolution-
ary at tle tine tlat a ¡atent was actually granted.
Tle coo¡erative novenent KF develo¡ed wlat can be inter¡reted as
tle ¡recursor to tle sell-service store already in tle 1930s. Tlis store was
called tle °tri¡le storeº, and it consisted ol tlree stores adjacent to one
anotler. one selling nilk and bread, one selling dry goods, and tle tlird
selling neat. Tlis was a solution to tle lealtl regulation wlicl sti¡u-
lated tlat nilk, lor exan¡le, could not be sold in tle sane store as otler
Tle tri¡le stores olten lad glass walls and swinging doors be-
tween tle tlree se¡arate stores to nake tle division between tle stores
less noticeable. Tlis also lel¡ed in breaking down ¡syclological barriers
between tle dillerent lines ol trade. Olten tle tri¡le stores were converted
into sell-service stores and tle walls between tle tlree stores sin¡ly taken
down to acconnodate tle new lornat.

Tle hrst sell-service store wlicl o¡ened in Motala in Se¡tenber 1940
was abandoned wlen tle rationing systen was introduced. Anotler sell-
service store was o¡ened on Odengatan tle lollowing year, but it was not
30. Savas, G., Från handelsbod till stormarknad, ¡. 66-67.
31. Il a store lad sulhciently large ßoor s¡ace, tle lealtl regulations could be lilted
and lood itens ol dillerent categories sold in tle sane store. It was tlen called a ºlall
storeº. Five lall stores were built in Stockloln by tle coo¡erative novenent during
tle 1930s, but tley were not very successlul. Tley can still be seen as a lorn ol ¡re-
cursors to tle sell-service stores ol tle ¡ost-war era. See Brunnstron, L., Det svenska
folkhemsbygget, ¡. 204.
32. Savas, G., Från handelsbod till stormarknad, ¡. 45-51.
distribution and retail: the silent revolution? 175
until alter a renodeling tlat tlis store o¡ened in 1947 under a new nane,
°Snabbko¡º, wlicl translates into °Quick Buyº. Tlis is tle store tlat is
usually relerred to as tle hrst sell-service store in Sweden.
By tle beginning ol tle twenty-hrst century, sell-service stores lave
been tle norn lor decades, and tle word is no longer in use. A sell-service
store las becone just a store, a nornal store. Let us tlen exanine wlat
distinguisles tle sell-service store lron tle traditional counter service
store. In tle counter service store, tle custoner was served by a clerk. Tle
clerk could only serve one custoner at tle tine and tle otler custoners
lad to wait in line in order to be served. Tlis neant tlat tley could over-
lear everytling tlat was going on between tle clerk and tle custoner
wlo was being served. Tle custoner could not landle tle goods, but lad
to wait lor tle clerk, wlo did all tle neasuring and slowed tle custoner
all tle goods exce¡t lor certain itens, tle sta¡le loods tlat lad been ¡re-
¡ackaged by tle clerks in advance. Two elenents were central to tle sell-
service lornat. transler ol tle ¡icking lunction lron clerk to custoner,
and naking tle goods accessible to tle consuner. Tlis denanded nore
initiative and con¡etence on belall ol tle consuner, wlo would not be
7.2 The first self-service store on Odengatan 31. KF-arkiv.
chapter 7 176
able to rely u¡on tle skills and knowledge ol tle retailer to tle sane ex-

It also neant a lot ol lreedon. Tle custoner lad tle ¡ossibility to
stroll around and just look at tlings witlout buying anytling, ¡ick
tlings u¡ and ¡ut tlen down again, cleck tle ¡rices and reconsider
witlout laving a crowd listening in on tle decisions nade. It o¡ened u¡
lor nore s¡ontaneity and in¡ulse buys, but tle vendor was no longer
able to direct tle custoner`s attention to a certain connodity or suggest
an additional buy. No longer was tle vendor a nediator between tle cus-
toner and tle connodity, instead tle connodity needed to s¡eak lor
itsell and catcl tle consuner`s attention.
One ol tle nost crucial as¡ects ol sell-service was tlat wlen tle cus-
toners were su¡¡osed to ¡ick tlings out by tlenselves, tle store arcli-
tecture lad to give tle custoners tle directions tle vendors no longer
¡rovided by dis¡laying tle connodities in sucl a nanner as to induce
tle custoners to buy nore. Vlen sell-service stores were hrst introduced,
tle store itsell becane tle nain attraction. Tle cliel concern was to ex-
¡ose tle nodern new store, tle goods were secondary. Tle desire to dis-
¡lay tle store itsell nay be inter¡reted as a sign ol connodity alßuence.
tlere was a nass ol connodities on sale and tlis neant tlat tle store
becane a con¡etitive device.

But we can also see tlis as a continuation ol an older tradition, be-
cause even in tle counter service store tle layout and tle decoration were
in¡ortant. A successlul counter service store lad lewer goods on dis¡lay,
and consequently lad to tlink about low tle counter looked, and lave
a nice ßoor to nake a good in¡ression on tle custoners.
In sell-service
stores tle connodity ¡lays anotler role. Today tle connodities are cen-
tral to tle sell-service stores. It is all about low tley are best dis¡layed
and low tley nake tle store look. Il tle sell-service store was enougl
in itsell wlen it hrst a¡¡eared, once tle novelty lad worn oll and sell-
service lad becone tle norn, tle sell-service stores lad to tlink about
33. Nyberg, A., Innovation in distribution channels, ¡. 97.
34. Deutscl, T., ºUntangling alliances. social tensions surrounding inde¡endent
grocery stores and tle rise ol nass retailingº In V J Belasco & P Scranton (eds.), Food
nations, ¡. 166ll, Gay, P. du, °Sell-service. Retail, Slo¡¡ing and Personloodº, Con-
sumption, Markets & Culture, 7.2, 2004, 149-163, Torell, U. & Lee, J. 'Talande ¡aket.
Butiksrun, lor¡ackningar ocl lorsaljningens konnunikativa lorner` In U Torell, R
Qvarsell & J Lee (eds.), Burkar, påsar och paket, lortlconing.
35. Savas, G., Från handelsbod till stormarknad, ¡. 56-9.
36. One ol tle nost salient exan¡les is tle classic landbook ol tle retail trade. G.
Tornqvist, S. Carlson & G. Berg, (eds.), Detaljhandelns bok.. See also Savas, G., Från han-
delsbod till stormarknad, ¡. 64.
distribution and retail: the silent revolution? 177
wlat to convey and to dis¡lay tle connodities a¡¡ealingly. Tle ¡eriod
1950-1990 also corres¡onds to a tine ol increasing alßuence and increas-
ing trade across tle clinate zones, wlicl neant tlat tle assortnent in-
creased dranatically.

Tle role ol tle stall clanged witl tle new organization ol retail. In
sell-service stores, tle sane skills as belore were no longer required, or
ratler tle way tle clerks were ex¡ected to interact witl tle custoner
clanged. In order to nake tlis transition as snootl as ¡ossible, tlere
were landbooks and instruction hlns on low to be a good salesnan in
tle new sell-service context. Tlis was actually tle continuation ol a ¡ro-
cess already in ¡lace. Lducational literature on tle art ol being a good
sales¡erson lad a¡¡eared lor tle counter service stores lron 1903, even
il tley did not becone truly ¡o¡ular until tle 1930s, wlen nore sales
¡eo¡le were recruited lron nore varied backgrounds tlan belore.
ol tle landbooks were translations ol US naterial.
Tle US was tle role
nodel lor sales teclniques, narketing, and advertising, as well as lor store
lornats and ¡ackaging. Tle retail revolution relied very leavily indeed on
tle develo¡nents in tle United States.
Tle ¡ositive inage ol tle US and tle success ol sell-service in tle US
were used as leverage to argue tle case lor sell-service in Sweden, even il
tle econonic and social lactors in tle two countries were dillerent. Still,
tle US exan¡le nade way lor tle Swedisl introduction ol sell-service.
Nyberg, wlo las studied innovation in tle distribution clannel, dehnes
tle introduction ol tle sell-service lornat as °arguably tle biggest and
nost ¡ervasive innovation in Swedisl grocery retailingº.
Tle in¡act ol
tle innovation was sucl tlat tle ¡revious counter service lornat lell into
oblivion. In ¡art tlis niglt be attributed to tle lact tlat tle sell-service
very quickly took over tle Swedisl retailing scene. In tle US, tle success
ol sell-service started oll during tle recession years in tle 1930s, wlile in
37. Just as an exan¡le, Mayo slows low tle nunber ol lood itens in a su¡ernarket
increased lron an average ol 3,000 itens in 1946 to 5,800 by 1959, see Mayo, J. M., The
American Grocery Store, ¡. 180. Tle sane tendencies claracterize tle entire Vestern
world, and increasingly allect otler regional areas as well.
38. Bergnan, B., Handelsplats, shopping, stadsliv, ¡. 102.
39. A notable exce¡tion was ol course tle landbook on tle retail trade under tle
direction ol Prolessor Gerlard Tornqvist. Tle book hrst a¡¡eared in 1937, and tlen
again in a con¡letely revised edition in 1953. G Tornqvist, S Carlson & G Berg (eds.),
Detaljhandelns bok., L Abranson, G Tornqvist, L Rasnusson & G Borgstron (eds.),
Detaljhandelns bok., 2
40. Nyberg, A., Innovation in distribution channels, ¡. 95.
chapter 7 178
Sweden sell-service took lold during one ol tle nost s¡ectacular ¡eriods
ol alßuence and growtl ever.

Mayo, wlo las studied tle evolution ol tle US retail landsca¡e, ¡oints
to low tle slilt was nainly a slilt in locus towards a nass distribution
ol lood, relerred to as nass lood retailing. Tle business teclniques ol
nass lood ¡roduction were a¡¡lied to nass retail distribution. But in
order to do tlis elhciently and rationally, a nassive volune ol sales was
In Sweden, it was tle coo¡erative novenent KF and tle al-
hliated inde¡endents in tle retailers` coo¡erative ICA wlo nanaged to
aclieve tle sane econonies ol scale as tle clains in tle US. Tle Swedisl
clains were nostly snall and local. KF hrst discovered tle value ol a sys-
tenatic store design as a way ol rationalizing retail. KF and ICA gradually
destroyed tle narket lor snall inde¡endent lood retailers outside tleir
own donain. It was also a question ol landling tle nassive increase in
lood ¡roducts ¡roduced by tle lood nanulacturers. Here snall stores
were inelhcient since tle slell s¡ace needed was greater tlan belore. As
consuners bouglt cars and relrigerators, tlis altered tleir slo¡¡ing lab-
its and tley could buy nore lood nore seldon in bigger slo¡¡ing areas
outside tle central ex¡ensive locations.
Self-service triumphs
Fron tle beginning, tle sell-service stores were nostly snall stores wlere
lorner butcler, dairy, and grocery stores were joined into a snall sell-ser-
vice store. In general, snaller stores sullered lron several slortconings.
tley were ill-designed, lad inadequate advertising, ¡oor stock invento-
ries, and dilhculties in ¡redicting denand. But worst ol all, tley lad in-
adequate surlace area to neet tle new lood ¡roduct lines develo¡ed by
tle lood nanulacturers. In tle 1950s and even nore so in tle 1960s, tle
new establislnents were big lron tle beginning, witl a wide assortnent.
Tle coo¡erative novenent, wlicl o¡ened tle hrst sell-service store, con-
tinued to lead tle develo¡nent ol sell-service. For exan¡le, tle coo¡era-
tive novenent o¡ened sell-service stores witlin tleir de¡artnent stores
tlat quickly becane big attractions. Tle coo¡erative novenent was tle
hrst to act u¡on tle lact tlat bigger stores attracted nore custoners. In
lact, tlere was a correlation between store size and ¡rohts, wlere bigger
41. Tlis can be con¡ared to tle introduction in anotler country tlat is also liglly
develo¡ed, Great Britain, wlere tle transition was less snootl. See lor exan¡le Gay,
P. du, °Sell-service. Retail, Slo¡¡ing and Personloodº, Consumption, Markets & Cul-
ture, 7.2, 2004, 149-163.
42. Mayo, J. M., The American Grocery Store, ¡. 116.
distribution and retail: the silent revolution? 179
stores led to larger ¡rohts. Olten tlis neant tlat tle snall coo¡erative
stores nearby lad to close down wlen a new, bigger store o¡ened.

Tle coo¡erative novenent strived to aclieve in setting u¡ as rational
and lunctional stores as ¡ossible to better serve its nenbers. Since it was
a to¡-down organization, it could ¡usl tlrougl clanges, as long as tle
nenbers were content witl tle develo¡nent. Tle ¡rivate retailers close-
ly watcled tle coo¡erative novenent`s develo¡nent ol tle sell-service
lornat, and low tle coo¡erative novenent increasingly went lor bigger
stores. Fron tle nid 1950s, to¡ nanagenent in ICA dehned tle size ol a
store as tle nost in¡ortant lactor lor ¡rohtability. Vletler it was a sell-
service store or a counter service store did ol course natter, but tle nost
43. Savas, G., Från handelsbod till stormarknad, ¡. 56.
7.3 Hötorget market hall. Gunnar Johansson’s store.
Lennart af Petersens, 1940-1954, Stockholms stadsmuseum.
chapter 7 180
crucial lactor was actually tle size ol tle store. Olten a young retailer
bouglt u¡ lis con¡etitors to lorn one large store. Tlis was said to be ad-
vantageous lor tle older retailers, wlo could tlen go into retirenent. Tle
snall stores were not so ¡rohtable, and con¡etition was larsl, wlicl
nade retirenent nore a¡¡ealing.

Tle slare ol sales ol sell-service stores relative to traditional nanual
stores is not well docunented, but in ler study ol innovation in tle distri-
bution clannel, Nyberg las atten¡ted to nake an estinate. Her hgures
are quite astounding. In 1951, only 6 ¡ercent ol total grocery ¡urclases
were nade in sell-service stores. By 1952, tlis lad increased to 8-10 ¡er-
cent, wlicl re¡resents an in¡ressive increase in sucl a slort ¡eriod ol
tine. Still, it is tle hgures lron 1958 tlat reveal low tle structural ad-
vantages ol tle sell-service lornat lave really started to slow. In 1958, as
nucl as 25 ¡ercent ol tle total grocery ¡urclases cane lron sell-service
stores, but tle nunber ol sell-service stores only accounted lor 15 ¡ercent
ol tle total nunber ol stores. Two years later tle con¡arative advantage
ol tle sell-service lornat continued to slow. Sell-service accounted lor
36 ¡ercent ol tle grocery ¡urclases, witl 25 ¡ercent ol tle total nunber
ol stores being sell-service stores. By tle end ol 1962, lall tle grocery
¡urclases were nade in sell-service stores. In 1970, as nucl as 90 ¡ercent
ol tle total grocery ¡urclases were nade in sell-service stores.

Tlere las actually been an extraordinary rise ol tle sell-service lornat
in a con¡aratively slort ¡eriod ol tine, and sell-service very quickly ac-
counted lor tle najority ol tle total grocery sales. Tle sales were ligler
tlan tle relative nunber ol stores, wlicl nay be attributed to sell-service
being a nore elhcient sales lornat, but it was also tle ellect ol size. Big-
ger stores invested in sell-service teclnologies because tley were able to
do so, and because now witl increased size it was ¡ossible to ¡roht lron
structural rationalizations ol sell-service.
Vlat lel¡ed tle ra¡id introduction ol tle sell-service lornat along·
Tle in¡roved ¡ackaging teclnique ¡layed an in¡ortant role, as did tle
increased use ol relrigeration and trans¡ortation. A ¡ernissive lood regu-
lation lurtler s¡eeded u¡ tle transition. All ol tlese innovations were in-
tinately linked. Tle lood regulation could only becone nore ¡ernissive
once tle need to u¡lold tle old rules lad vanisled. Vlen sensitive lood-
stulls were ¡ro¡erly ¡ackaged and ¡rotected, tle need to lave a se¡arate
nilk store, lor exan¡le, lad no grounds. Relrigeration teclnique also
neant tlat tle lood regulation took anotler direction. Pro¡erly ¡ack-
aged and ¡rotected in sale coolness, tle nain concern was to ascertain
44. Nyberg, A., Innovation in distribution channels, ¡. 113-114.
45. Nyberg, A., Innovation in distribution channels, ¡. 112-113.
distribution and retail: the silent revolution? 181
tlat tle store lad sulhcient relrigeration ca¡acity and tlat tle riglt ten-
¡erature was ke¡t. Tle in¡roved ¡ackaging also neant tlat loodstulls
could be trans¡orted over greater distances witlout larn. Tle introduc-
tion ol tle container nade trans¡ortation costs sink drastically, wlicl
also o¡ened u¡ new connodity narkets.
Tle standardization ol tle retail landsca¡e toucled u¡on every detail.
Tle actual roon also clanged witl tle sell-service store. Floor dis¡lays
wlicl lad litlerto been stacked witl loods ¡laced on slelves along tle
walls, were re¡laced by tle gondola slell systen, wlere tle custoners
could serve tlenselves lron botl sides. Tle grocery slo¡¡ing cart was
invented by Sylvan Goldnan in 1937, and it was continually in¡roved
to serve tle needs ol tle lousewile. Tlese innovations on a snall scale
7.4 Östermalm market hall.
Lennart af Petersens, 1958. Stockholms Stadsmuseum.
chapter 7 182
nirrored tle clanges on a grander scale. Tle store was seen as tle con-
¡ilation ol standardized nodules, lron tle gondola slell systen, to tle
actual buildings tlenselves. It was taking tle ¡relabricated and letting
it ¡erneate every as¡ect ol tle store and its culture. Tle sane arclitects
wlo designed lactories, designed su¡ernarkets.
In Sweden, KF and its
arclitecture hrn were leading tle innovation ¡rocess. Private retail lol-
Tlese develo¡nents were in ¡arallel and lueled one anotler. Tle con-
tainer revolution was actuated by tle ellorts ol an enter¡rising truck con-
¡any in tle USA, and it lad nost lar-reacling consequences lor tle cost
ol trans¡ortation. Tlis in turn revolutionized tle trade ¡atterns and tle
global division ol labor. But witlout tle su¡¡ort ol governnent-hnanced
inlrastructure lor better roads and liglways, or tle subsidized luels, tle
container revolution niglt lave taken anotler turn.
Tle sane kinds
ol structures were in ¡lace in Sweden, and in otler ¡arts ol tle Vestern
world as well, wlere tle container revolution lad an enornous in¡act
46. Mayo, J. M., The American Grocery Store, ¡. 150.
47. Levinson, M., The box.
7.5 The demolition of Munkbro market hall.
Jan Ehnemark, July 14, 1950. Stockholms Stadsmuseum.
distribution and retail: the silent revolution? 183
on tle entire clain ol ¡roduction, distribution, and consun¡tion. Clea¡
trans¡ortation luelled tle nass consun¡tion society ol tle ¡ostwar era.
Tle introduction ol tle sell-service systen ran very snootlly and ra¡-
idly once it all began. Tle Coo¡erative Movenent and ICA were su¡¡orted
by tle city ¡lanners, wlo were o¡erating at tle orders ol ¡oliticians wlo
wanted to nake sure tle citizens could buy tleir lood witlout too nucl
inconvenience at reasonable ¡rices, and witl all tle necessary salety and
lygienic standards. Tle ¡roducer-led coo¡eratives` and tle lood indus-
try`s nove towards an increasingly rationalized node ol ¡roduction was
aided by tle ¡ackaging industry in getting tleir ¡roducts on tle narket.
Sell-service was ¡resented as tle solution to tle ¡roblen ol distributing
and selling lood in tle nost rational way. All ol tlis neant tlat tle nar-
ket lall a¡¡eared to be nore and nore outnoded, witl its snall units,
and its slow way ol selling lood by nanual counter service.
Structural rationalization backfires
Sweden can be seen as a leading country in Luro¡e wlen it cane to struc-
tural rationalization ol tle lood distribution sector in tle 1950s and
1960s. Tlis develo¡nent allected not only tle retail end ol tle lood dis-
tribution, but tle wlolesale sector was also translorned. Tlis is lardly
sur¡rising since tle two lines ol business becane so closely interlinked.
Tle nunber ol wlolesale warelouses decreased dranatically during tlis
¡eriod, and tle size increased nanilold. Lven in tle ¡eriod lron 1970-75
tle structural rationalization continued, and tle nunber ol wlolesale
warelouses decreased alnost by lall, lron 90 to 53.
By tle nid-1960s
tlere were still 27 inde¡endent wlolesalers in colonial ¡roduce. Tlere
were also a nunber ol wlolesalers in s¡ices, collee, and lruits lron tle
soutl. By 1973 tlere were only eiglt lelt, and tley were too snall to con-
¡ete witl ICA or KF. Lventually tley were bouglt by tle DAGAB Con¡a-
ny, and tle narket was divided into tlree big actors, tle so called blocks.
In tlis way, tle Swedisl lood distribution lad becone consolidated into
tlree giant trade blocks tlat divided tle narket in between tlenselves.

Tle listorical roots tlat ¡aved tle way lor tlis develo¡nent are inter-
esting. Vlat we see is actually low a nunber ol lood retailers and wlole-
salers, wlo started to take control over tle narket in tle 1930s and 1940s
becane increasingly ¡owerlul. Vlen tle state tried to counter tle oli-
go¡olistic tendencies ol tle lood narket, tle retail trade quickly ada¡ted.
48. Hultén, S., Omvandlingen av dagligvaruhandeln 1970-89, ¡. 1.
49. Larsson, F., Den nya varuhandeln, ¡. 21-22.
chapter 7 184
Tle strategies devised in tle 1930s and 1940s were tlen re¡laced by a
series ol new tactics in tle 1950s, wlicl were not ¡rolibited by law.
Tle structural rationalizations ol tle 1950s continued and were ac-
centuated over tle lollowing decades. Tle nunber ol lull-service lood
stores dro¡¡ed alnost by lall lron 21,000 in 1952 to 11,000 in 1973,
wlereas tle turnover doubled during tle sane ¡eriod.
Between 1965
and 1985 over 15,000 stores disa¡¡eared, and only 4,700 new stores were
establisled. One reason lor tlis was tlat tle size ol tle stores lad in-
creased. Tle larger store allowed lor econonies ol scale, wlicl included
longer o¡ening lours, greater assortnent, and nore rational goods lan-
dling, es¡ecially regarding tle un¡acking and dis¡lays ol goods.
tle 1970s and onwards, stores ol surlace areas greater tlan 400 square
neters lad becone tle norn, and snaller stores lad becone tle exce¡-
tion, wlereas ¡reviously tle snall stores lad doninated.
Tle tendency
ol increasing size las continued into tle twenty-hrst century, even il size
las becone a nore con¡lex neasuring device.
Llhciency was lurtler enlanced in tle 1970s, wlen tle systen ol
entire ¡allets ol goods was introduced. However, tlere are linits to tle
advantages ol increasing scale, and it is also very de¡endent on existing
structure and luture increases in ¡o¡ulation. Vlere do ¡eo¡le live· How
are tleir dis¡osable incones distributed· Vlere will tlere be new lous-
ing constructed· Vlere is tlere roon to ex¡and slo¡¡ing centers and
ly¡ernarkets· Vill tlere be ¡arking and sulhcient trans¡ortation o¡-
¡ortunities to tle desired location lor tle ly¡ernarket· Tlis in turn is
deternined by tle inlrastructure tle nunici¡ality is ¡re¡ared to ¡rovide
and ¡lan lor. Tle nunici¡alities also lave tle riglt to decide wlicl con-
¡anies and wlat kind ol business are welcone to establisl tlenselves
in tle area, and low nucl s¡ace eacl will be allotted.
To set u¡ a lood
store las tlus becone a nore con¡lex, and tle barriers to entering tle
narket lave been raised since tle stakes are so ligl. Tlis is a gradual
develo¡nent tlat was accentuated by tle introduction and rise ol tle
sell-service store.
Tle novenent towards standardization ol tle retail trade was lur-
tler accentuated during tle ¡eriod 1970-90, wlen tle retail trade becane
even nore lonogenous. All tle big clains ollered longer o¡ening lours
50. Distributionsutredningen, Samhället och distributionen: betänkande, Stockloln,
51. Hultén, S., Omvandlingen av dagligvaruhandeln 1970-89, ¡. 84.
52. Hultén, S., Omvandlingen av dagligvaruhandeln 1970-89, ¡. 19-22, Nilsson, K-A. &
Utterstron, C., Lantbruket och marknaden, ¡. 81-82.
53. Hultén, S., Omvandlingen av dagligvaruhandeln 1970-89, ¡. 19-22.
distribution and retail: the silent revolution? 185
and nore ly¡ernarkets. Tleir assortnent becane nore unilorn, and tle
design and layout ol tle stores nore alike. One ol tle reasons tle retail
trade in Sweden las becone so unilorn is because tle actors nonitor tle
strategies ol tleir con¡etitors, and co¡y wliclever strategies seen ¡roht-
able. For exan¡le, all tle big Swedisl lood retailers invested in real estate
and retail clains outside tle lood sector lron tle 1970s and onwards.

Tle lact tlat tle Swedisl lood narket las been under tle inßuence
ol sucl a linited nunber ol actors wlo strived to reduce con¡etition
nay account botl lor tle unity ol tle lood narket and lor tle con¡ara-
tively ligl lood ¡rices in Sweden relative to otler sinilar countries in Lu-
Tle long ¡eriod ol stability in tle Swedisl lood retail landsca¡e
54. Hultén, S., Omvandlingen av dagligvaruhandeln 1970-89, ¡. 77-80, Ossiansson, Lva,
Nätverk i förändring, ¡. 171-178.
55. Tle Luro¡ean countries can actually be divided into tlree dillerent categories
witl res¡ect to tleir develo¡nent in tle retail trade, wlere Sweden ends u¡ in tle
to¡ segnent along witl Gernany, France and Great Britain as tle nost develo¡ed
7.6 Rational shioppers in a modern self-service store.
Sune Glype, 1956. Stockholms Stadsmuseum.
chapter 7 186
goes well beyond tle ¡eriod nost connonly associated witl Fordisn, i.e.
nass ¡roduction and standardization. Tlis accentuates tle strengtl ol
tle oligo¡olistic trade structure ol tle Swedisl lood industry and retail
Tle ¡arallel develo¡nent ol retail and wlolesale towards an increas-
ingly rationalized, large-scale business nodel initially seened to condenn
all otler lorns ol retail into oblivion. tle o¡en air narket, tle snall, s¡e-
cialized lood slo¡s, and tle narket lalls. Manual service seened to lave
no ¡lace in tlis new consun¡tion landsca¡e drawn u¡ by tle tlree gi-
ants. But tle sane lactors tlat enabled tle success ol tle structural ratio-
nalization ol tle retail trade also leld tle elenents leading to its distress.
Ultinately, tle standardization and tle lonogeneity ol tle retail narket
nade tle giants blind to otler ¡ossible o¡tions. In due course, it also
o¡ened u¡ ¡ockets ol resistance.
Tle strict structural rationalizations lailed to deliver tle results tle
big actors souglt to aclieve. Instead ol rational consuners ada¡ting to
tle retail nodels best suited to tle needs ol tle retail clains, allowing
tlen to naxinize tleir ¡rohts, tle hckle consuner wanted sonetling
else. De¡arting lron tle environnental novenent, tlere was a general
critique ol a consuner society alienated lron social and environnental
values. Tle anti-consunerist tendencies actually also s¡urred a resur-
gence lor tle snall-scale, lor tle artisanal, and in tle long run, lor ex-
clusive ¡roducts. Personal service, wlicl lad been slunned as a sign ol
servitude and strict social control, lad by now acquired a nostalgic allure.
Tle tine was ri¡e lor tle narket lall to ste¡ out ol tle sladows.
Out of the shadows
In lact, tle doninance ol sell-service and elhcient rationality was not
con¡lete even during its nost s¡ectacular rise. On Sunday Decenber
2, 1956, one ol tle biggest norning ¡a¡ers leatured a ¡ortrait ol Öster-
naln narket lall, calling it °tle ten¡le ol tle costernongersº. Tle old
tern costernonger, wlicl lad been used so derisively during tle early
twentietl century, now took on a dillerent neaning. Tle old narket lall
was lovingly described as tle antitlesis ol tle quick ¡ace in tle sell-ser-
vice stores, wlere you lad to wait, getting your leet cold on Fridays and
Saturdays. But tle custoners in Östernaln narket lall seened quite
content, as good tlings cone to tlose wlo wait. And tley got good ad-
vice by observing otler ¡eo¡le`s ¡urclases, tle autlors ex¡lained. Stock-
witl a ligl concentration in tle retail sector. See Tulvesson, I., Varuhandeln: igår, idag,
imorgon, ¡. 130.
distribution and retail: the silent revolution? 187
loln still lad a lew ¡icturesque narket lalls lelt, and Östernaln stood
out as an oasis lor all wlo value s¡ecialties, quality, trained vendors, and
old-laslioned, bourgeois atnos¡lere. It was not clea¡, and it lad no
nodern convenience. But it re¡resented a Stockloln bustling witl lile,
and it would nake anyone desolate to lose tlis only to nake way lor tle
nodern subway systen.
Tle article was clearly relerring to tle urban
regeneration ¡lans being discussed at tlis ¡oint in tine, wlere tle old
narket lall was to be re¡laced by a subway station. Tle suggestion ¡ro-
voked a storn ol ¡rotest and tle lall was eventually saved, but lor several
years its late renained unsure.
Tle atnos¡lere and tle arclitecture ol Östernaln narket lall were
celebrated in tle article. But tle arclitecture was not only under external
tlreat, tle eneny was also working lron witlin. one ol tle hslnongers
was about to tear down tle beautilul balustrades witl tle elegant sign-
boards in black witl wlite letters. Ostentatious, vulgar sign-boards in-
s¡ired by tle connercial aestletics ol sell-service witl neon signs were
cree¡ing in, ¡olluting tle beauty and atnos¡lere ol tle old lall. Modern
lacilities like relrigerated dis¡lay counters were welcone ol course, but tle
vulgar connercial language ouglt to be ke¡t out ol tlis unique building,
tle autlors lanented.
Tle old was contrasted witl tle nodern, but it
was ¡rinarily tle aestletics ol tle old tlat were celebrated and tle idion
ol tle new tlat was censured. Neon was vulgar, and out ol claracter in
tle venerable old building. Tle association witl tle new sell-service was
also a negative lor tle neon sign.
Tle tone ol tle article, ¡ublisled on a Sunday, reveled in all tlat was
old, attributed gracelul elegance to tlings tlat were not cold and rational,
nodern, and streanlined. In 1956, tle urban regeneration ol Stockloln
was well under way, and tle dissident voices were still weak. Most seened
content and deliglted by all tle latest conveniences. But tlere were signs
ol nostalgia on tle rise. Tle vendors lor one tling were o¡tinistic about
tle luture, and ex¡lained tlat tle elegant custoners were returning. Tle
journalists lo¡ed tlat Stockloln would be able to kee¡ tle old narket
lall, wlicl conbined business witl ¡leasure in sucl a deligltlul way.
56. Colonba & Bjorn Berg, ºTill nanglarnas ten¡el i Östernalnslallenº, DN Sun-
day 2 Decenber 1956. Incidentally, belind tle signature Colonba we hnd journalist
Lva von Zweigbergk, dauglter to journalist Annastina Alknan, wlo wrote about ler
lond clildlood nenories ol tle Östernaln narket lall. Tle londness seens to lave
been ¡assed on to tle dauglter. For an account ol Annastina Alknan`s nenories,
see von Zweigbergk, Lva, ºUr Annastina Alknans ninnesalbunº, Samfundet S:t Eriks
årsbok. 1959, ¡. 22.
57. Colonba & Bjorn Berg, ºTill nanglarnas ten¡el i Östernalnslallenº. Neon signs
were older tlan sell-service ol course, but tle negative association was still nade.
chapter 7 188
Let us kee¡ sone rennant ol tle Oscarian ¡ast, sone su¡erßuous orna-
nents in rational, nodern Stockloln.
Again tle sane relerence to a
social systen ol social distinctions, class inequalities, and servitude. tle
Stockloln ol Oscar II.

Tle 70tl anniversary ol Östernaln narket lall two years later in-
s¡ired nore nostalgic stories in tle news¡a¡ers. Tle good old days were
illustrated by tle anecdote ol a 14 year old girl, wlo on coning lone at
eleven tlirty one niglt, was greeted by ler notler, wlo in worried tones
asked il sle lad closed ler stand belore leaving. Tlis anecdote recurred
ten years later, but by tlen tle girl was said to be tle notler ol one ol tle
original vendors in tle narket lall, tle tine was clanged into nidniglt,
and it was tle grandnotler wlo lo¡ed tle girl lad not lelt witlout clos-
ing u¡.
Vlat tlis anecdote intended to illustrate was tle lively con-
nerce at tle o¡en-air narket, wlicl ¡eaked alter eleven o`clock at niglt,
wlen tle well-to-do returned lron tle tleatre. It also celebrated a tine
wlen tlere were lew regulations, and ¡eo¡le lad to work long lours,
wlicl neant tlat tlere was service to be lad at all lours ol tle day. U¡
until tle late 1960s, tle o¡ening lours ol stores were strictly regulated by
law, wlicl nay ex¡lain tle wisl lor nore liberal o¡ening lours.
A recurrent tlene in tle celebrations lron tlis tine on was tle at-
nos¡lere in Östernaln narket lall. Tle atnos¡lere was dehned as
lriendly, wlicl was reßected in tle doings ol vendors and clerks. It would
be nice to see nore ol tlis ¡leasant and res¡ectlul laniliarity in our lec-
tic and overly brusque tines. Tle journalist described tle visual in¡res-
sions, and tle sense ol taste and snell wlicl abounded in Östernaln
narket lall, along witl s¡ecial and exclusive ¡rinary ¡roduce, delicacies
and seni-nanulactures like canned goods lron Findus.
Tle narket lall
sourced lron Sweden and abroad, and served custoners lron all over tle
country. Orders by tele¡lone were equally well attended to as tle lace-to-
lace interactions.

Tlese becone connon tlenes tlat lave been re¡eated over tle years,
and can be said to lave becone an integral ¡art ol tle narket lall lore.
A nediated construction ol tle s¡ecihc narket lall atnos¡lere tlat can
be recycled at will by journalists and u¡leld by vendors. One tling tlat
58. Colonba & Bjorn Berg, ºTill nanglarnas ten¡el i Östernalnslallenº.
59. Oscar II was king ol Sweden 1872-1907, wlicl also corres¡onds to tle ligl ¡e-
riod ol tle Swedisl narket lalls.
60. ºÖsternalnslallen. Ln kulinarisk logborg ned traditionº Aftonbladet 27 lebru-
ari 1958.
61. Findus is a brand lor canned goods and dee¡-lrozen loods.
62. ºÖsternalnslallen. Ln kulinarisk logborg ned traditionº Aftonbladet 27 lebru-
ari 1958.
distribution and retail: the silent revolution? 189
deserves nentioning is low tle Findus tradenark lad not yet acquired
tle su¡ernarket connotation tlat would ex¡el it lron tle narket lall at
tlis ¡oint in tine. Tle details in tle descri¡tions nay tlus vary, but tle
tlenes lave renained lairly constant, wlicl nirrors low tle construc-
tions ol quality lave evolved and low new attributes are coded as qual-
Five years later, tle 75tl anniversary was celebrated in lonor ol tle
venerable Östernaln narket lall. Fanous journalists and TV ¡ersonali-
ties sucl as tle lood writer Ria Vagner ¡rolessed tleir love ol tle nar-
ket lall. Tle love was ex¡ressed as tle antitlesis ol tle nodern world
outside, witl its denolition craze and excavator ¡syclosis, nercilessly
driving away all tlat was unique about Stockloln. Vlat was celebrated
in tlis eulogy to tle narket lall was again tle tlene ol tle autlentic,
7.7 Fruit and vegetable stand inside Östermalm market
hall. Herman Ronninger, 1956. Stockholms stadsmuseum.
chapter 7 190
re¡resented lere by tle lresl ¡roduce and tle ¡rinary ¡roduce. Tlis was
wlere you could hnd tle real, hne bread, tle beautilul and abounding
greengrocers ollering exotic lruits and greens. Tlis was wlere you could
buy lerring lron barrels tle way it used to be sold in tle old days. You
slould never buy lerring in any otler way. it is deligltlul to watcl as tle
silvery lerring is hsled out ol tle brine. Here you could see tle lobster
cauldrons steaning in lront ol tle hslnongers` tidy stalls. Tle laces ol
tle vendors s¡oke ol lriendliness and a desire to give tle custoner tle
best and tle lreslest ¡roduce ¡ossible. Tle narket lall was tle last out-
¡ost to ¡reserve tle love ol lresl, hne loods.
In tlis dehnition ol quality,
autlenticity was dehnitely given ¡rinacy over rationality.
Östernaln narket lall was ¡resented as a ¡o¡ular and unique ¡lace,
so unique in lact, as to attract tourists lron otler ¡arts ol Sweden, travel-
ling by air only to visit tle narket lall. Tle air ßiglts were lairly ex¡en-
sive at tle tine and signaled exclusivity in itsell. Tlis big, lriendly lood
narket was dehned as a stronglold ol lresl ¡roduce, delicacies, and s¡e-
cialties, but also ol good everyday lood. Tle assortnent was varied and
exciting, a nix ol Swedisl and international s¡ecialties sucl as snoked
locusts, Frencl trulßed loie gras, and genuine lasl ol ollal grain lron
Norrland. But again it was tle lresl ¡roduce tlat truly re¡resented tle
narket lall. Flowers, vegetables, lruit, cured neats, and ¡rovisions olten
nade by tle owners lron secret reci¡es as well as neat, hsl, slellhsl,
¡oultry, and wild gane. It was tle lresl ¡roduce tlat tle tlirty con¡et-
ing vendors ollered as an antidote to tle ¡lastic and canned loods ol tle
sell-service stores. Tle vendors ol tle narket lalls wanted tleir custon-
ers to take tleir tine and nake tleir cloices lron tle quality loods beau-
tilully dis¡layed in tle ten¡ting counters, belind wlicl con¡etent stall
awaited tleir orders. Tlese were vendors wlo truly knew lood, and wlo
were willing to give correct answers and discuss lood lor weekdays and

Persinnons and avocados were nentioned as exan¡les ol tle loods
lor sale, but avocado needed ex¡lanation at tlis tine, tlat it was a salad
ingredient witl a buttery lruit ¡ul¡. Clicken lad becone everyday lood
by 1963, but grouse was lalling out ol ¡o¡ularity due to tle ligl ¡rice.
Turkey was gaining sone ¡o¡ularity lor Clristnas, even il nany still ¡re-
lerred tleir Clristnas lare. Hungarian, Polisl, and Italian sausages were
sold next to Swedisl s¡ecialties like tle Skalby sausage lron tle Kalnar
63. Vagner, R. ºJag alskar salulallarº In Stockholmskan en julhälsning från företagarna i
Östermalmshallen, 1963, ¡. 7.
64. Holn, C., ºHallen runt ¡a 80 ninuter. Crick Holn ßanerar ocl ¡resenterarº In
Stockholmskan en julhälsning från företagarna i Östermalmshallen, 1963, ¡. 13.
distribution and retail: the silent revolution? 191
area, nade lron an old country reci¡e by tle 75 year old sisters le Grand.
Lnbassies and legations were regular custoners.
Tle international and
exotic elenents were used to create tle kind ol narket lall lore ol exclu-
sivity tlat las renained lairly stable since tle beginning ol tle narket
lall renaissance. Still, wlat elenents are ¡erceived as exotic and elegant
can clange. Tle clanges de¡end on wlat is ¡erceived as everyday or con-
non¡lace, and wlat is ¡erceived as exclusive and autlentic.
Tle stressed out nan ol tle 1960s only ate lood like ¡ork clo¡s, steak,
braised rolls ol beel, and sliced liver. Gone are tle tines wlen you bouglt
an entire sucking-call and dealt witl all tle ¡arts yoursell, con¡lained
one ol tle vendors. Now ingredients like leart ol call or beel, lanb liver
and nutton tongue were used lor dog lood, also sold at tle narket lall
in quantities ol 300 to 350 kilos. Tle denand would ¡robably increase
wlen tle nearby subway station o¡ened.
Tle longing lor tle good old
days was nanilest in tle article, as was tle con¡laint tlat ¡eo¡le no
longer knew low to cook or do tlings lron scratcl. Tle cooking lron
scratcl neta¡lor would only gain in in¡ortance along witl tle increase
in ready-nade disles.
Anotler ol tle writers in tle connenorative book concentrated on
tle lood and its nostalgic dinension, tle ¡ronise tle ¡ast was in lact in-
tact, and tlat you could hnd ¡ockets in tine and go back to tle good old
days wlere all was tle sane as belore. Tle narket lall renained true to
itsell, always tle sane witl its gingerbread works and jovial vendors. Just
tlink about Mrs Kollstron and ler scra¡ed raw beel in ler black lur lat,
tle Lisbetl Janson clan in tleir green satin coats ollering tle best garden
¡roduce in town, tle Llnqvists selling hsl in tle corner, von Sclewen
witl tleir cris¡, lresl bread or niss Britta wlo sells tle world`s nost deli-
cious neatballs. Tle cloice ol reci¡es ¡resented in tle article says sone-
tling about tle tine ¡eriod, and s¡eaks ol tle sane longing lor nostalgia
intertwined witl tle exotic. crab salad, lobster in nayonnaise, grilled tur-
bot witl green garlic butter and Frencl lries, snoked rainbow trout witl
clives and renoulade sauce, eel ¡re¡ared tle Scanian way, kidney served
ßanbé, as¡aragus, lennel, black radisl, hred egg-¡lant, avocados, celery
nayonnaise, and Italian salsa di ¡e¡¡eroni. °Did you know tlat tlere is
an oyster bar in tle narket lall now· It nakes you drean ol Paris.º

65. Holn, C., ºHallen runt ¡a 80 ninuter. Crick Holn ßanerar ocl ¡resenterarº, ¡.
66. Holn, C., ºHallen runt ¡a 80 ninuter. Crick Holn ßanerar ocl ¡resenterarº, ¡.
67. Österling, K., ºKort on gottº In Stockholmskan en julhälsning från företagarna i Öst-
ermalmshallen, 1963, ¡. 15.
chapter 7 192
Tle oyster bar received attention in tle nedia and was leralded as
a sign ol quality. Östernaln narket lall was also described as a neet-
ing ¡lace, a s¡ace wlere dillerent social classes would go, like cab driver
Arne Bjelkestig and tle naid ol lonor to tle queen Brita Cederstron. It
is an oasis ol cleerlul atnos¡lere, clanging, but witl tle sense ol qual-
ity intact and tle ¡leasure ol neeting an old acquaintance belind tle
counter. Peo¡le ol all ages slo¡ in Östernaln narket lall, and tlere are
nore gentlenen lere tlan in your average lood store.
To illustrate tlis,
tle articles slowed a ¡icture ol two young gentlenen, Lars Renbjer and
Manuel Nene, ¡erla¡s ten years old, wlo lad just discovered tlat tley
could s¡end sone noney on a cou¡le ol ounces ol snoked slrin¡.
er distinctive leatures wortl nentioning were tle lood store lor dog lood,
tle unsweetened Gernan bread (at a tine wlen Swedisl bread culture
was at its lowest ¡oint, witl only sweetened loaves to be lad). Organically
grown vegetables were also ¡art ol tle unusual ¡roduce tlat deserved
nentioning. Regular custoners were ¡art ol tle narket lall lore re¡re-
sented lere by tle actor Martin Ljung, director Ingenar Bergnan, and
¡oet Lrik Lindegren. Tle vendors were also given s¡ecial star status, like
Otto Rietnan, wlo was relerred to as tle cover boy lor tle gastronones
ol Stockloln.
Again, all ol tlese elenents are still ¡art ol tle narket
lall lore.
In 1968, a nagazine decided to celebrate tlat °tle catledral ol loodº
turned 80. A color ¡loto ol all tle vendors in Östernaln narket lall cov-
ered tle center-s¡read. Tle text described tle old vendor lanilies like ar-
istocracy. To lave been in tle gane lor a long tine was a way ol obtaining
status. To ¡rove tlis, you needed tales ol low you bundled u¡ radisles
or sold tle wing-ti¡s ol woodcocks as a six-year-old, or ¡rool ol laving
been a vendor lor at least 53 years. To be tle tlird or lourtl generation
vendor was anotler way ol acquiring status.
All ol tlis dis¡lays tle need
to anclor tle narket lall in tle ¡ast. not only tle building, but tle ven-
68. It is interesting to note tlat wlen tle sell-service store was hrst introduced, it
was said tlat gentlenen would leel nore inclined to slo¡ tlere since tley lelt nore
at ease in an environnent wlere tley could slo¡ around in ¡eace. Tle novelty and
tle exclusive seen to be tle donain wlere gentlenen could engage in tle nundane
activity ol lood slo¡¡ing witlout risk ol lost status.
69. Young gastronones s¡ending noney and ellort on lood is anotler recurrent
inage in tle narket lall lore. Perla¡s it is used as a reassurance. tlere will be new
70. Berglund, B., “Herrarnas lallº DN den 8 nars 1968.
71. Unidentihed nagazine cli¡¡ing celebrating tle connenoration ol tle 80tl an-
niversary ol Östernaln narket lall in 1968. In ca¡sule Ö1 at tle Market Hall Ad-
distribution and retail: the silent revolution? 193
dors as well were ¡art ol tle sane institution, tle lallnark ol quality and
Perla¡s tle reason lor tle return ol tle narket lall can be lound in
tle intensity and ra¡idity ol tle transition ol tle retail systen. Tle vague
uneasiness could be detected in inhnitesinal signs. In 1966, tle biggest
norning ¡a¡er lad a series on tle new connodities in tle °Alßuent So-
cietyº. Tle con¡etition in tle new alßuent society was very tougl. Inno-
vative ¡roducts and ¡roduct develo¡nent were tle only ways to renain
in business and avoid tle cut-tlroat ¡rice con¡etition. Lvery year 250
new lood itens were ¡laced on tle narket. Vitlin tle hrst year, 100 lad
disa¡¡eared. Tle lile cycle lor a ¡roduct used to vary between hve to ten
years, but it was steadily getting slorter. So wlat did tle nanulacturers
do· Tley resorted to clanging tle ¡ackaging design to attract attention
and increase sales. Tley lad to hnd new helds ol a¡¡lication lor old ¡rod-
ucts, or sin¡ly in¡rove existing ¡roducts. Lntirely new ¡roducts were an-
otler way ol neeting tle con¡etition. Hall tle ¡roducts on tle narket
in 1966 did not exist hve years earlier.
Tlis nassive inßow ol ¡roducts
was not de¡icted in tle sane ¡ositive tones tlat tle net tle ßood ol
goods in tle 1950s. Back in tle 1950s, tle novelty oversladowed nost
objections, as industrial lood was clic and nodern. By tle nid-1960s, a
growing environnental awareness called industrial uto¡ia into question.
Never-ceasing ¡roduct innovation was ¡erla¡s not a good tling in lood.
Vlile tle new industrial lood was getting negative ¡ublicity, coloring
natter, additives, decaying labitats, and natural disasters were getting
onto tle agenda. In Östernaln narket lall, a lealtl lood store ¡rid-
ed itsell on its organic ¡roduce, excellent quality, and hrst-class service.
Tle ¡resentation was a least lor tle eyes, witl lresl, lragrant vegetables
tlat lad notling in connon witl tle ¡lastic wra¡¡ed s¡ecinens in tle
su¡ernarkets and sell-service stores. But tle true secret was tle lunan
dinension. tle narket lalls were devoted to ¡ersonal service and to en-
deavors to nake tle custoner la¡¡y. Tle ginnickry ol tle su¡ernarkets
was contrasted witl tle autlentic arrangenents to serve tle custoners
tlat you would hnd in tle narket lalls.

Tle new retail teclnologies and tle new retail lornats witl ¡re¡ack-
aged loods were contrasted witl tle inage ol °tle lady in tle narket
lallº, wlo would give advice to tle ignorant young wile about wlat sle
72. “250 nya natvaror lanseras varje ar. Kan¡ on kunderna.º DN 14 Decenber
1966, “Kan¡ ¡a liv ocl dod ned nya ¡rodukterº DN 14 Decenber 1966.
73. Unidentihed nagazine cli¡¡ing celebrating tle connenoration ol tle 80tl an-
niversary ol tle Östernaln narket lall in 1968. In ca¡sule Ö1 at tle Market Hall
chapter 7 194
could use tle dillerent cuts ol neat lor and wlicl seasoning would be a
good cloice. Sauces and braising lad been re¡laced by tle anonynous
dis¡lay ol ¡re¡ackaged ¡ieces ol neat.
Tle tiglt link between quality
and rationality wlicl lad been so ¡ervasive was now gradually being
clallenged by contrasting dehnitions, wlere quality and autlenticity
were reinvented. Tle lresl, tle natural, tle unallected were celebrated
values, as contrasted witl tle industrial hxes and ly¡er-rationality ol tle
su¡ernarkets. Tle narket lall was about to begin its renaissance.
74. Vi konsumenter tycker, lorb., Stockloln, 1960, ¡. 14.
Decline of rationality
Tlere are several dillerences between tle US and Luro¡e, and also witlin
Luro¡e. However, tle US inßuence on tle develo¡nent ol tle retail nar-
kets in Luro¡e, es¡ecially alter Vorld Var II, is undeniable. In general, we
can see tlat Anericanization is nucl nore evident in Nortlern Luro¡e
tlan in Soutlern Luro¡e.
For exan¡le, tle sell-service stores and tle
su¡ernarkets a¡¡eared in Nortlern Luro¡e earlier tlan in Soutlern Lu-
ro¡e, and still today, at tle beginning ol tle twenty-hrst century, Soutl-
ern Luro¡e slows dillerent ¡atterns as regards tle lorns ol distribution.
Tle tendency to ninic tle US develo¡nent started nucl earlier in Swe-
den tlan in tle rest ol Luro¡e.
Sweden, wlicl lad been very successlul
in rationalizing its industry, lagged belind in tle retail sector. Tle distri-
bution and tle retail trade were ¡erceived as ¡roblenatic and backwards,
and nunerous olhcial re¡orts were connissioned to address tle issue.
Not sur¡risingly, tle structural rationalizations ol tle distribution and
retail sector in tle US were observed witl great interest lron Sweden.
One ex¡lanation ol tle ra¡id clange in Sweden con¡ared to tle otler
Luro¡ean countries niglt be tlat tlere were strong actors on tle retail
1. See lor exan¡le Slaw, G., Curtl, L. & Alexander, A. °Selling Sell-Service and tle
Su¡ernarket. Tle Anericanization ol Food Retailing in Britain, 1945-1960º, Business
History, 46 (4), 2004, ¡. 568-580.
2. O`Dell, T., Culture unbound, ¡. 1-16. O`Dell ol course ¡roblenatizes tle assun¡-
tion ol Sweden as tle nost Anericanized ol tle Luro¡ean countries, but also ¡oints
to tle cultural inßuences.
196 coda
narkets. Tle coo¡erative retailers in tle KF novenent and tle ¡rivate re-
tailers ol tle ICA novenent gained ¡roninent ¡ositions and in nany re-
s¡ects s¡urred tle develo¡nent on. Local ¡oliticians endorsed tle initia-
tives lron botl KF and ICA, wlicl lurtler advanced tleir ¡ositions. Old
lood regulations were lilted wlen lood salety issues were solved by new
teclniques. In lact, several innovations witlin tle retail business occurred
during tlis tine ¡eriod. On tle consuner side, tle rising standards ol liv-
ing neant tlat ¡eo¡le increasingly lad access to relrigerators, and later
on, to lreezers. Tlis neant tlat tley could ¡lan alead in a dillerent way
and buy larger quantities. As car ownersli¡ becane nore connon, going
to out-ol-town locations witl good ¡arking o¡¡ortunities to buy lood at
lower ¡rices and in larger quantities becane nore connon¡lace. All ol
tlis contributed to clanging tle lace ol tle retail landsca¡e.
Tlis ¡eriod also saw tle rise ol tle ¡ackaging industry. More and nore
goods were ¡re¡ackaged in standardized ¡ackage sizes. Tle consuner
¡ackaging olten ¡reserved tle lood in a nore elhcient way tlan tle lood
¡ackaged by tle retailers tlenselves. Tle standardized ¡ackage sizes cor-
res¡onded well to tle overall rationalization trend in Swedisl society at
tle tine. Tle ¡ackage and its tradenark re¡laced tle good nane ol tle
retailer lor tle custoner, wlo learned to trust tle ¡ackage and its signs
ol salety and quality, sucl as tle ex¡iry dates ol lood. More and nore
goods were also industrially ¡re¡ared in various ways. New cake nixes
wlere you only added water, and ¡ractical instant sou¡s were sone ol tle
new ¡roducts con¡eting lor tle custoner`s lavor. Tle canning industries
ex¡anded tleir assortnent into tle dee¡-lrozen segnents and tle ready-
nade disles. Tle brand Findus becane synonynous witl tle nodern,
rational working wonan wlo served ler lanily nodern, rational neals
¡re¡ared by tle burgeoning lood industries, and stored in tle new lous-
ing con¡lexes witl tleir carelully neasured, rational kitclens.
Tle transition was ¡robably also lacilitated by tle lact tlat Sweden
is a snall, relatively lonogenous country, wlere networks ol key actors
lron acadenia like Gerlard Tornqvist, and lron tle ¡rivate trade and in-
dustry like Ruben Rausing, or ¡eo¡le wlo noved between tle two worlds
like Nils-Lrik Virsall, were able to gain a vital inßuence and togetler
witl ¡oliticians and ¡ublic servants, tley sla¡ed tle Swedisl retail land-
Anotler reason tlat lel¡ed tle transition run so snootlly was tlat it
took ¡lace during a tine wlen tle standards ol living were rising steadily.
Tle increasing ¡ros¡erity was associated witl nodernity and rationality.
Dissident voices were ignored, and tle connon good ol a new rational
society triun¡led.
decline of rationality 197
Yet anotler reason can be lound in tle listorical circunstances in
Sweden tlat very early on lad already ¡aved tle way lor ¡roduction and
nanulacturing ol lood wlicl was liglly concentrated. Vitl sucl a ligl
degree ol concentration, large-scale relorns and standardizations were
easily introduced since it conlorned to tle business nodels ol tle large-
scale actors in tle lood industries. But standardization and rationaliza-
tions were also ¡erceived as tle nost desirable outcone ol tle nodern-
ization ¡rocess by nany ol tle ¡olitical relorners in ¡ower lron tle
1930s. Issues ol autlenticity in tle sense ol regional variety or dillerent
¡roduction netlods were not identihed as signs ol quality, wlereas uni-
lorn, standardized large-scale rationality was. Vlen all seened to lave
ti¡¡ed in lavor ol ly¡er-rationality, tle tide began to turn, and contend-
ing dehnitions ol quality, wlere quality was associated witl autlenticity
and nostalgia, resurged. Tle snall-scale craltsnansli¡ ol tle narket lall
was tle new black.
Part 3
Dreams of nostalgia:
the return of the market hall
Let us now turn to a discussion about tle loundations ol tle current con-
sun¡tion landsca¡e. In 1971, ICA invited tlirty ex¡erts on lood distribu-
tion and retail to give tleir view on tle Swedisl lood scene in ten years
tine. Tle ex¡erts were nainly ¡residents ol dillerent retail stores, but
also journalists and re¡resentatives lor various trade organizations. One
ol tle ex¡erts ¡resented Sweden as a ¡ossible test narket lor loreign con-
¡anies interested in gaining new knowledge about luture develo¡nents,
as Sweden nust be considered as °tle nost develo¡ed country in Luro¡e
in tle held ol distribution.º
Several ol tle ex¡erts talked about tle value
ol ¡ersonal contact. Tle ex¡erts warned tlat tle neclanization ol nany
ol tle largest stores and ly¡ernarkets niglt nake tle atnos¡lere tlere
cold and un¡leasant.
It is interesting to note low tle return ol ¡ersonal
service was ¡resented as a core value.
Tle sleer nunber ol connodities lad nulti¡lied in tle decades lol-
lowing tle end ol tle Second Vorld Var, and tlis lad nade consun¡-
tion a nore varied activity. Tlis new consun¡tion landsca¡e altered tle
signihcance and tle loundations lor lood consun¡tion. Food consun¡-
tion was no longer a question ol naking roon lor tle bare necessities ol
1. Virsall, N.-L., Så handlar vi om tio år, ¡. 25.
2. Virsall, N.-L., Så handlar vi om tio år, ¡. 71-72.
202 prelude
lile, it also ollered a variety ol cloice tlat was litlerto unleard ol. In tlis
ultranodern, ly¡er-rationalized loodsca¡e, tle consuner was lelt alone
to searcl lor tle lood desired. Tle neclanization ol tle lood retail lad
been stretcled so lar tlat nostalgia, even a yearning lor tle snall scale,
was again ¡ossible. Tlis coincided witl a nounting critique ol consuner
society. Here ¡ackaging and ¡rocessed loods were inter¡reted as signs ol
tle ills ol consuner society, and contrasted witl organic and biodynanic
loods as bearers ol nore natural and sounder values.
During tle 1970s and 1980s, tle big stores ada¡ted to tle consun-
ers and tleir desire lor nore ¡ersonal contact by adding nore nanual
counters in tle stores. At tle sane tine, new narket segnents a¡¡eared,
as nentioned belore. Tle concentration ol vendors in tle retail sector
continued, even il tlere was roon lor snall con¡lenentary actors in
lood retail, sucl as o¡en air narkets and narket lalls. Tle econony lad
noved towards wlat sone call tle ¡ost-Fordist era, and wlat otlers call
tle ex¡erience econony.
Fron tle 1970s and onwards, tlis tendency las
nagnihed, and tle retailers lave reinvented tlenselves accordingly.
In tle 1990s, ex¡ressions like °s¡ace nanagenentº becane connonly
used in tle stores. Tle idea is to design slelves and hnd tle riglt dinen-
sions tlat will create tle o¡tinal size and a¡¡earance to a¡¡eal to tle
custoners, and tlus naxinize ¡rohts and nininize costs. Tlis conce¡t
was introduced by tle su¡¡liers, wlo lad access to a central trade orga-
nization tlat su¡¡orts its nenbers witl skills and inlornation about
tle latest trends in retail nanagenent. Botl su¡¡liers and retailers were
interested in new ways ol dis¡laying goods. One sucl teclnique is us-
ing just a lew ¡odiuns. Anotler teclnique, °slell s¡ace nanagenentº,
involves inducing custoners to buy nore by dis¡laying goods at clea¡
¡rices in a slell next to otler ten¡ting ollers witl larger nargins. Tle
nost in¡ortant goods get tle ¡reniun ¡lacing in tle slell. Anotler
strategy called °category nanagenentº is to divide tle dillerent ¡roducts
into categories. According to establisled retail wisdon, tlis increases tle
custoner satislaction and reduces tle costs.

Vords like °s¡ace nanagenentº, °slell s¡ace nanagenentº and °cat-
egory nanagenentº are tle res¡onses ol a line ol business under ¡res-
sure. Tley are also tle linguistic reßections ol larger translornations in
late ca¡italisn. Managenent las entered tle vocabulary ol nore and
nore areas in society. To landle, or ratler to nanage, tle con¡lex nexus
3. For an introduction ol ¡ost-Fordisn see Jesso¡, B. & Sun, N-L., Beyond the
regulation approach. For a ¡resentation ol tle ex¡erience econony, see, Pine, B.
J. & Gilnore, J. H., The experience economy.
4. Ossiansson, L., Nätverk i förändring, ¡. 220-227.
203 dreams of nostalgia
ol econonic, teclnological, social and cultural clange, a certain level ol
sin¡lihcation is necessary. A turbulent world denands reassuring lor-
nulas, il we are to navigate it witlout losing our bearings con¡letely.
But it is also a question ol wlat values are connercialized. Tle lor-
nal versus tle inlornal, to cloose tle riglt kind ol connodities, to hnd
wlat stands out in a sea ol saneness, to hnd tlat uniqueness in tle nidst
ol tle nass ¡roduced. Olten, a listorical connection can give a seeningly
laniliar leel to a connodity. Ve can trace tlis searcl lor tle autlentic
and tle unique, tle ¡ersonal and tle inlornal, back to tle 1960s. Tlat
was wlen tle social s¡lere noved lron tle locus ol tle 1930s and 1940s
on low to be a good citizen by arranging lone and urban s¡ace in an
orderly, rational laslion, to a locus on tle inner lives ol tle citizens, ol
intinacy and genuine autlenticity.

Tle values being connercialized continuously interact witl tle sur-
rounding society. In tlis new setting, tlere is a tendency to recreate tle
rural in tle urban setting. Ronantic notions ol tle rural are iconized in
larners` narkets and in tle snall-scale, local ¡roducers. Lssential to tlis
tendency is low tle ex¡erience becones ¡art ol tle ¡roduct, but also low
tle ¡roducts tell tleir own stories about wlere, wlo and by wlon tley
were ¡roduced, in an atten¡t to ease and sootl any uneasiness tle con-
suner niglt leel about low our loods were ¡roduced.
In tlis new consun¡tion landsca¡e, tlat is not as new as it niglt hrst
seen, but ratler is tle continuation ol ¡revious develo¡nents, tle con-
struction ol consuners is under relornulation yet again. Tle consuner
wlo lad enbraced tle sell-service lornat was now laced witl an °enbar-
ras du cloixº. Tle increased con¡etition in tle lood retail sector also al-
tered tle way su¡ernarkets look at custoners and service. Su¡ernarkets
are trying to naintain tleir ¡lace and gain advantages in tle current con-
sun¡tion landsca¡e by ¡ractices like custoner s¡ecihc narketing. Tle
doninant store lornats are lacing con¡etition not only lron discount
stores and convenience stores, but also lron alternative lood distribution
lornats sucl as larner`s narkets, box sclenes, and, to a certain extent,
country slo¡s. Tle blessings ol tle current lood consun¡tion landsca¡e
are unevenly distributed, and tlere are lood deserts in tle nidst ol our al-
ßuent societies.
Tle ellects are even greater ol course wlen we look out-
side tle Vestern s¡lere. In tlis new consun¡tion landsca¡e, tle narket
lall las energed as an enblenatic hgure ol quality loods and autlentic
5. Fredriksson, C., Ett paradis för alla, ¡. 210-214.
6. Food desert is a tern used to describe areas ol cities wlere inex¡ensive and
nutritious lood is virtually unobtainable.
204 prelude
ex¡eriences, an antidote to tle cold rationality ol large-scale industrial
Setting the Scene
Most articles describing narket lalls begin witl tle wonderlul atno-
s¡lere created by tle visual in¡ressions, tle scents, and tle buzz. All
ol tlis attracts a crowd tlat is °just lookingº, but also, ol course, tlere
are consuners out to nake a buy. tourists, occasional custoners, regu-
lar custoners. Tley all go to narket lalls lor dillerent reasons and witl
dillerent intentions, and tley cloose wlicl narket lall to ¡atronize de-
¡ending on ten¡eranent, desires, clance, and labit. De¡arting lron a
cultural geogra¡lic ¡ers¡ective, tle ¡ur¡ose ol tlis cla¡ter is to set tle
scene to introduce tle narket lall and its ¡lace in tle urban labric in tle
beginning ol tle twenty-hrst century. Vlat is tle allure ol tle narket
lall as an institution·
Tle cla¡ter ¡rovides nore detailed descri¡tions ol tle tlree narket
lalls in Stockloln. Hotorget, Östernaln, and Soderlallarna narket
Tle ¡ur¡ose is to discern tle neaning ol ¡lace, i.e. tle neaning ol
narket lalls and tleir ¡osition in s¡ace, tlat is, in tle city. Vlat do tleir
dillerent ¡ositions in tle city nean lor low eacl narket lall is ¡erceived·
Vlat do tleir dillerent arclitectural designs nean· Tlese questions will
be analyzed in tle liglt ol tle dillerent claracter ol tle tlree districts
1. Tle descri¡tions and tle analysis ol tlis ¡a¡er are lounded on various
sources. heldnotes, interviews, articles, web ¡ages, anniversary ¡ublications.
It seeks to detect tle culturally signihcant inages tlat nay serve as a back-
ground to tle larger study wlere tle social worlds ol tle narket lalls will be
investigated nore in detail.
chapter 8 206
in wlicl tle res¡ective narket lalls are located. Tle tlree districts City,
Östernaln and Sodernaln lave dillerent listories, dillerent arclitec-
ture, and a dillerent anbience. Tle anbition is to trace tle dillerences
tlat energe lron a cluster ol conce¡tions about wlat tle districts nean,
and low tlis in turn inßuences low tle narket lall in eacl district is
¡erceived, ex¡erienced, and inagined. Tle ¡lysical environnent is a ¡er-
ceived and an ex¡erienced environnent, as well as an inagined environ-
The spatial dimension
City, Östermalm and Södermalm: three neighborhoods
To understand tle narket lalls, we need to look nore into tleir ¡lace in
tle city ol Stockloln. Tle current division ol Stockloln into borougls
is nore ol an adninistrative lunction tlan anytling else. Tle areas also
lave tleir own internal subdivisions into neiglborloods, wlicl are nore
or less known to outsiders, and wlicl lave listorical roots. Tlese neigl-
borloods lave nanes otler tlan tle adninistrative borougls, and are
used in everyday language by tle inlabitants ol Stockloln. It is tlese
neiglborloods tlat lave a social and cultural neaning. Vlat is nost
olten relerred to as tle inner city today is con¡rised ol tle borougls ol
Norrnaln, Östernaln, Kungslolnen and Sodernaln, but tle borders
ol tle inner city are ex¡anding, and anong ¡lanners and ¡oliticians tlere
is a strong wisl to see an ex¡ansion ol tle inner city, and nore develo¡-
nent ol inner city arclitecture close to tle ¡resent borders ol tle inner

Tle desire to ex¡and tle inner city nerely reßects tle renaissance ol
traditional inner city arclitecture, and tle kind ol urban environnents
celebrated by sclolars like Jane Jacobs and tle New Urbanisn novenent.
Tle urban regeneration is ¡art ol a larger novenent related to tle global
econonic restructuring in tle Vestern world lron tle 1980s. Cities all
over tle world are increasingly con¡eting lor tle sane econonic nicles
and tle sane global ca¡ital. In tlis ¡ower gane, cities want to attract
ligl-end econonic activities, and tlere las been a locus, in ¡articular
anong ¡lanners and urban nanagenent consultants, on creative indus-
tries as a re¡lacenent ol tle old nanulacturing industries.

2. Lundevall, P., Stockholm.
3. Riclard Florida is one exan¡le ol a sclolar wlo las becone a louselold
nane lor ¡oliticians and autlorities anxious to naster tle lorces ol globali-
setting the scene 207
Tle need to ¡resent tle city as an attractive, ¡rogressive ¡lace, and tlus
attract tle buzz ol °creativity, innovation and entre¡reneurialisnº las
becone tle nantra ol city autlorities, ¡oliticians, and ¡olicy nakers to
con¡el tle lorces ol intra-city con¡etition.
One elenent in tle creation
ol a new city and tle ¡erceived need lor an urban inlrastructure tlat ca-
ters to °tle new creative classesº is lood. restaurants, calés, bars, delicates-
sen, and u¡scale lood slo¡s. Tlis is wlere we can ¡lace tle narket lalls
ol Stockloln. in an anbition to create an attractive city, ollering tle ur-
ban clarn so necessary to tle cities ol late nodernity.

Il we look at tle tlree neiglborloods wlere tle narket lalls are
¡laced, tley are all located witlin tle inner city. Hotorget narket lall
in City}Norrnaln, Östernaln narket lall in Östernaln, and Soderlal-
larna narket lall in Sodernaln. Tlese are tlree very dillerent neiglbor-
zation. Florida uses tle conce¡t °tle creative classesº to describe cities and
globalization. Tle conce¡t is con¡elling, but tle en¡irical loundations are
less convincing. See lor exan¡le Florida, Riclard L., The rise of the creative class
or Florida, Riclard L., Cities and the creative class, ¡. 34-42.
4. T. Hall & P. Hubbard, (eds.), The entrepreneurial city.
5. Urban regeneration never allected all ¡arts ol tle cities on an equal scale,
and tlere las been critique against tle urban regeneration initiatives lor di-
verting lunds lron tle econonically disadvantaged to tle econonically suc-
cesslul witlout tle ex¡ected trickle-down ellects being realized.
8.1 The inner city of Stockholm and its areas. Stockholms stad.
chapter 8 208
loods regarding arclitecture, ¡o¡ulation, and tlat intangible sonetling
we niglt call atnos¡lere. Atnos¡lere is ¡art ol low ¡lace is ¡erceived,
it las as nucl to do witl inagined qualities as witl real circunstances
or listorical background, and it deternines wlat sell-¡resentations are
¡ossible lor tle dillerent narket lalls.
City and Hötorget market hall
Tle core ol old Stockloln is ¡rinarily tle Old Town and tle area next to
it, downtown Norrnaln, or City. Downtown Norrnaln was con¡letely
renodeled during tle 1960s, wlicl is wlen it got its nane, City, even il
sone ol tle clanges started already in tle 1950s. Tle restructuring ol tle
City district las been nucl criticized. Tle neiglborlood nost allected
was tle district ol Klara, wlere old louses were re¡laced by nodern ol-
hce buildings and gigantic de¡artnent stores. Tlis neant tlat a lot ol
tle a¡artnents in tlis area vanisled, leaving tle City district quiet and
en¡ty at niglt. In ¡articular, Klara used to be a very densely ¡o¡ulated
area, wlicl nakes tle contrast between tle old Stockloln and tle new
City alter tle restructuring all tle nore evident. Tle restructuring ol tle
City area las been docunented in several books,
and tle nostalgia lor
old Stockloln is ke¡t alive tlrougl ¡lotogra¡ls and exlibitions. Tle
unilornity ol tle arclitecture ol tle City district ol today is contrasted
witl tle ¡lotogra¡ls ol tle old battered louses, and tle stories ol a
Stockloln nore vivid and nore diverse.
Hotorget narket lall is situated in tle Klara district, riglt in tle
niddle ol tle city restructuring. Tle old narket lall lron 1882 was de-
nolisled in 1954, and tle new building inaugurated in 1958. Today, tle
City area is nore ol a daytine area, but tlere are ¡ockets ol lousing in
tle vicinity, and just a block away lron Hotorget narket lall tlere are
quite a lew a¡artnent buildings. In tle ¡ast lew years, tlere lave been
atten¡ts at re-introducing residential buildings to alter tle claracter ol
tle neiglborlood. Also, tle lact tlat Hotorget narket lall is very close
to tle central node ol tle subway systen, T-centralen, neans tlat ¡eo¡le
lron tle suburbs arrive to tlis central area botl on tle subway and on
tle connuter trains. As it is a centrally ¡laced slo¡¡ing and business
district, it attracts a daytine crowd lron all over Stockloln. Tle Grand
Central station is lairly close as well, wlicl neans tlat nany visitors hrst
encounter tlis ¡art ol tle town.
6. See lor exan¡le Gullberg, A., City: drömmen om ett nytt hjärta, Hall, T., Stock-
holm: the making of a metropolis, Lriksson, L., Stockholm med modernismen i cen-
setting the scene 209
However, tle City is still a ¡lace lor visitors, a ¡lace lor daytine activi-
ties, and lor ¡assing tlrougl, but not lor living. Tlere are new initiatives
lron city ¡lanners and ¡oliticians to reverse tlis trend. Tle city area is
currently under investigation and urban regeneration ¡lans are under
way. Nonetleless, tle local ¡atriotisn associated witl Östernaln and
Sodernaln is not ¡resent in City. It is not village-like in tle sane sense
as Östernaln and Sodernaln, instead it re¡resents anotler conce¡tion
ol tle city. tle crossing ¡oint, tle intersection, tle international transit
¡lace, belonging to all and none at tle sane tine.

Tle original narket lall building, wlicl was constructed in 1882, was
denolisled in 1954 to give way to tle new nodern HotorgCity. HotorgCi-
ty was tle nane given to tle area between tle square ol Hotorget and tle
square ol Sergels torg and tle street connecting tlen, Sergelgatan.
was one ol tle nost anbitious ¡arts ol tle translornation ol tle inner
city. Tle hve skyscra¡ers were olten ¡ortrayed and relerred to as a sign
ol nodernity entering tle ca¡ital. Tle arclitect belind HotorgCity, tle
legendary David Helldén,
also nade tle design lor Hotorget narket lall
itsell. Tlis area was tle leiglt ol nodernity, a real tourist attraction, and
a sign tlat Stockloln lad entered a new era. Pedestrians were su¡¡osed
to walk salely away lron tle tralhc on tle street ol Sergelgatan, slo¡¡ing
in tle nany stores located tlere, and eating at tle nany restaurants on
tle terraces on to¡ ol tle low buildings next to tle skyscra¡ers.
During lour years, a ten¡orary narket lall was constructed directly
in tle square ol Hotorget. Tlis neant less roon lor tle o¡en air vendors,
but it seened to cause little debate. Instead, tle locus ol tle debate was
on wletler Hotorget narket lall would be reconstructed at all. Lven-
tually it was reconstructed, but lad to nove below ground, next to car
garages lor tle slo¡¡ing district ol HotorgCity. Tle trade in lresl lood
was not deened ¡rohtable enougl to clain a ¡lace at tle ground level in
7. Tle vivacity ol tle Klara district las been called into question by tle urban
sclolar Bosse Bergnan, wlo clains tlat inages ol Klara were just inaginar-
ies ol sonetling lost wlicl was in lact never tlere. See Bergnan, B., Klara
1950: gator och näringar i en citystadsdel.
8. According to an interview witl tle lounder ol H&M, Lrling Persson, it was
lis suggestion tlat tle new city neiglborlood slould be called HotorgCity
and not Tle New City, wlicl was anotler suggestion. Företagsminnen 2006.1,
¡. 26. Tle nane, lowever, is very rarely used. HotorgCity becane City lor
9. David Helldén was very lanous, and a¡¡reciated in tle 1950s and 1960s.
By tle tine lis six skyscra¡ers lor tle university area ol Frescati were being
constructed, lis ¡o¡ularity lad waned, and le was seen as tle re¡resentative
ol tle destruction ol tle inner city.
chapter 8 210
tle new nodern city environnent tlat was envisaged by tle ¡oliticians
and city ¡lanners ol tle 1950s. Tle current narket lall at Hotorget was
inaugurated in 1958 as ¡art ol tle translornation ol tle city district.
Tle nain entrance ol Hotorget narket lall is not very noticeable, you
alnost lave to know it is tlere to hnd it. It drowns in tle surrounding
ocean ol signs. Vlat doninates tle building is tle logoty¡e ol tle cin-
ena clain, SF.
Just inside tle nain entrance doors tlere is a snall s¡ace witl a cou¡le
ol bencles overlooking wlat you can see ol tle narket lall down below.
Colorlul neon signs ol loodstulls ornate tle o¡ening down to tle nar-
ket lall. Tlis niglt be botl a relerence to tle love ol neon signs in tle
1950s and a reßection ol tle neon art so ¡o¡ular in ¡ublic adornnent in
Stockloln in tle 1990s. To reacl tle ¡resent day narket lall, you need
to take tle escalators down below ground. As tle escalator descends, you
see a butcler slo¡ and a cleese slo¡ on tle lelt, and tle state-run wine
and s¡irits slo¡ riglt in lront.
Tle scents and tle noise ol tle narket
lall neet you well belore you lave reacled it. a blend ol cleese, neat,
s¡ice, tea, and collee.
Tle lruit and vegetable stand and tle hsl stands are still in tle sane
¡osition as in 1958. However, tle nunber ol slo¡s las decreased wlile
tle nunber ol restaurants las increased. A¡art lron cleese, tlere are no
standard dairy ¡roducts, and groceries are rare, otler tlan lor s¡ecialty
¡roducts. Hotorget narket lall las a surlace area ol 1,800 square ne-
ters lor tle 32 slo¡s and restaurants, and anotler 1,800 square neters
ol storage and kitclen surlace are below. It was renovated in 1995, wlen
tle building above went tlrougl clanges, as it was translorned into one
ol tle largest cinena con¡lexes in tle Nordic countries, Filnstaden Ser-
A¡art lron tle big renovation in 1995 and rearrangenents to accon-
nodate tle liquor store in 2001,
tlere is continual naintenance going
10. In Sweden, alcolol is only sold in tle licensed state wine and s¡irits slo¡s.
Sell-service was not introduced until 1991, and tle transition to sell-service
stores was slow, even alter tle hrst store lad o¡ened. As ol 2009, tle vast
najority are sell-service stores, but tlere are still counter service stores wlere
you buy over tle counter. Tle store in Hotorget narket lall is one ol tle
renaining counter service stores.
11. Fron 2001, tle state-run liquor stores were given ¡ernission to stay o¡en
on Saturdays, wlicl lad until tlen been ¡rolibited. Tle new store in Hotor-
get narket lall could tlus not lave o¡ened belore 2001, since all stores lave
to be o¡en tle sane lours inside tle narket lall. Tle new rules and regula-
tions reßect a nore o¡en clinate towards alcolol in Sweden, ins¡ired in ¡art
by tle nenbersli¡ in tle Luro¡ean Union.
setting the scene 211
on, but it could be said tlat Hotorget narket lall is tle nost run down
ol tle tlree narket lalls in Stockloln. Tlis in¡ression is reinlorced by
tle lact tlat you lave to descend below ground to reacl tle narket lall.
Set in tle connercial City district ol Stockloln, tlere are lew residential
buildings in tle vicinity, and tle custoners cone lron tle surrounding
olhces or are ¡assing by on otler errands. Hotorget narket lall ¡rides
itsell on being tle nost international ol tle tlree narket lalls. Here you
hnd a nunber ol last lood and kebab ¡laces, all ol tlen o¡erated by in-
nigrants, nainly ol Turkisl descent. You also hnd a lot ol delicatessen
and s¡ecialty slo¡s witl Mediterranean and central Luro¡ean loodstulls,
botl lresl and dry goods.
Tlis is also tle only narket lall wlere you hnd Halal neat. Many
ol tle stores are run by innigrants, and tley cater to nore unusual de-
nands sucl as goat neat or tell ßour to nake tle Ltlio¡ian and Lritrean
ßatbread injera. A nixture ol ¡roducts tlat can be dehned as nore °tra-
ditionalº, sucl as ¡anela (a kind ol unrehned sugar connon in Soutl
Anerica) or dulce de lecle (a kind ol caranel-like s¡read also connon
in Soutl Anerica), and nore recent industrial ¡roducts like Negrita (a
s¡ecial kind ol Nestlé clocolate bar tlat you only hnd in Clile). Sodas
8.2 The main entrance, Hötorget market hall.
The Market Hall Administration.
chapter 8 212
lron Soutl Anerica are otler exan¡les ol ¡roducts tlat do not ht into
tle nainstrean su¡¡ly ol tle large su¡ernarket clains.

Due to tle nunber ol last lood ¡laces, you see nore ¡eo¡le walking
around eating sonetling in Hotorget narket lall tlan in any otler nar-
ket lall. Peo¡le grab a kebab lor luncl or belore going to tle novies, or
young ¡eo¡le cone in to buy sonetling nice and clea¡. Hotorget narket
lall consciously uses tlis inage on its website by declaring it to oller °a
gastrononic journey, a ¡lace wlere dillerent lood cultures neetº.
are actually gastrononic tours in Hotorget narket lall by a guide wlo ol-
lers wlat le calls °lood caravansº, a kind ol culinary walking tour, wlere
le guides ¡eo¡le to etlnic lood in Stockloln.
Tlese kinds ol tours
eat and drink your way tlrougl a neiglborlood lave becone quite
connon in nany ¡arts ol tle world, lollowing tle general gastrononic
trend. Tle gastrononic tours could also be inter¡reted as signs ol low
etlnicity is nanaged and enacted.
Lots ol lactors contribute to tle anbience ol Hotorget narket lall.
location (in tle connercial city district, witl tle concert lall and tle cin-
ena ¡alace attracting crowds at niglt, but witl lew residential buildings),
tle lively o¡en air narket on tle square outside (witl a strong ¡resence ol
innigrants and a large ßow ol ¡eo¡le ¡assing by), arclitecture (nodern-
ist 1950s arclitecture renovated in tle 1990s as ¡art ol a second wave ol
urban renewal ol tle City district), and tle ¡lace in s¡ace (below ground).
Tlis anbience attracts certain custoners and vendors, and lrigltens otl-
12. Tle large su¡ernarket clains are also beginning to diversily tleir su¡-
¡ly to cater to consuners witl various etlnic backgrounds. Tle retail trade
organization lor tle Swedisl retail, Svensk Handel, las started a coo¡era-
tion witl tle nulticultural center in Stockloln, Mangkulturellt centrun,
to nake sure tle slo¡kee¡ers get inlornation about various ligl lestivals.
For exan¡le, Lid al-Fitr, wlicl narks tle end ol Ranadan, las a large con-
nercial ¡otential lor tle retail business. Tle Persian New Year celebration
is anotler lestivity tlat could be turned into an advantage, according to
Svensk Handel. Helena Sidenwall °Svensk Handel vander u¡¡ ocl ner ¡a
alnanackanº Tena FSA, Foretagens sanlallsansvar www.¡ara¡ly¡rojektet.
Accessed Oct 21, 2006.
13. ºHos oss littar Du ravaror ocl delikatesser lran varldens alla lorn. Ln
rundvandring bland salustanden i lallen blir till en gastrononisk resa, dar
olika natkulturer lorenas.º Accessed Novenber 1,
14. Accessed Novenber 1, 2006.
setting the scene 213
Slo¡s in Decenber 2005
Hellbergs Fagel & Vilt (lowl & gane)
Sandins Frukt & Gront (lruit & vegetables)
Systenbolaget (wine & s¡irits)
Fiskelaget (hsl & catering)
Hav - Fisk & catering (hsl & catering)
Melanders Fisk (hsl & catering)
G Nilsson Livs AB (neat)
Österqvist`s (delicatessen)
La Gazelle (neat)
Pallas Delikatesser (delicatessen)
Pierias Livs (dried lruits, oils, etc.)
Prina Livs (delicatessen)
Latinanerikanska Livsnedel
(Latin Anerican neat & s¡ecialities)
Mi Lsquina Deli (Latin Anerican delicatessen)
Jacksons Ostallar (cleese)
Ostlornan (cleese)
Traget brods¡ecialisten (bread & ¡astry)
8.3 The panorama of Hötorget market hall as
seen from above. The Market Hall Administration.
chapter 8 214
Hinalaya Te & Kalles¡ecialisten (tea & collee)
Teboden Clarabang (tea & collee)
Clolato (clocolates)
Salu¡lats 30 (delicatessen & catering)
P & B Quality delikatesser (clocolates, oils, nustards, jans)
Guvagott deli (delicatessen & catering)
Bos¡lorus Meze-Store (Turkisl delicatessen & catering)
Buon Gustaio (delicatessen & catering)
Piccolino Bar (calé)
Kajsas hskrestaurang (hsl restaurant)
Suslibar Maru (susli restaurant)
Master Kebab (last lood)
Iznir Kebab (last lood)
Hizar Burgare & Salladsbar (last lood)
Turkiska Delikatesser (Turkisl last lood)
Östermalm and the Östermalm market hall
Östernaln is a neiglborlood witl a very distinct claracter, and it las
acquired a re¡utation lor being tle nost ¡osl ¡art ol Stockloln. Tlis
re¡utation dates back to tle 1880s, wlen tle central ¡arts ol Östernaln
were develo¡ed by tle wealtly nerclant classes and nenbers ol tle ar-
istocracy. Tle central ¡arts ol Östernaln are wlat used to be tle old
linits ol Östernaln, even il tle adninistrative borougl ol Östernaln
extends beyond tle old borders. Tle inagined ¡lace ol Östernaln clearly
dillers lron tle adninistrative s¡ace, and to a large extent also lron tle
¡erceived and ex¡erienced Östernaln.
Tle boundaries ol tle inagined,
¡erceived, and ex¡erienced Östernaln are nore narrowly dehned tlan
tle adninistrative construction.
Tle inagined Östernaln is tlat ol old, distinguisled ¡eo¡le in big
a¡artnents witl large lortunes. Il we look at tle statistics lor Östernaln,
tlis ¡icture is to sone degree conhrned. Tle average incone lor all ol
Östernaln is ligler tlan in botl City and Sodernaln. Vlat is interest-
ing is tlat tle nunber ol snall ßats is anong tle lowest in tle entire
inner city on central Östernaln, 37 ¡ercent, and an astonisling 25 ¡er-
cent ol tle a¡artnents lave hve roons or nore. In tle rest ol tle inner
city, snall ßats are clearly ¡redoninant. Tle ¡ercentage ol old ¡eo¡le is
ligler lere tlan in tle otler inner city area, at around 20 ¡ercent. Tlis
inagined Östernaln and tle statistics tlat su¡¡ort tlis ¡icture do not
reveal tle entirety ol tle ¡lace, ol course. Just like any otler ¡art ol tle
15. Vastberg, P., Östermalm, ¡. 65, 251-252.
setting the scene 215
city, tlis neiglborlood reinvents itsell, and re¡resents itsell in a nyriad
ol su¡er¡osing inages.
Östernaln was ¡lanned to be tle next target in tle restructuring ol
tle inner city, but nucl ol tle area was saved lron denolition, and Ös-
ternaln narket lall was anong tle buildings delended by herce ¡ublic
o¡inion. Östernaln narket lall was olten relerred to as tle °crown jew-
elº by tle Stockloln Market Hall Adninistration.
Östernaln narket
lall, wlicl was built in 1888, is tle oldest narket lall building ¡reserved
in Stockloln, and tlis gives it a unique ¡osition anong tle tlree exist-
ing narket lalls. Tle two arclitects belind Östernaln narket lall were
quite renowned, and would becone even nore lanous over tine. In 1880,
Isak Gustal Clason was an assistant city arclitect. A year later le set u¡
an arclitectural olhce witl tle otler arclitect ol Östernaln narket lall,
Kas¡ar Salin. Tley lad undertaken a study tri¡ to Gernany, Italy, and
France in 1883-1886. Tley were nucl ins¡ired by tle brick constructions
in nortlern Gernany and tle cast-iron constructions in France, and tlese
can be seen in Östernaln narket lall.
16. Tle Market Hall Adninistration was integrated into Fastigletskontoret,
Tle Real Lstate Adninistration, in 2005, and lereby lost nucl ol its s¡ecihc
locus. Tlis is ¡art ol tle re-organizational lrenzy ol tle City Adninistration.
It nay be a sign ol a declining engagenent on belall ol tle City autlorities
in tle luture ol tle narket lalls. Tlen again, tine will tell.
8.4 Interior of Östermalm market
hall. The Market Hall Administration.
chapter 8 216
Tle clientele in Östernaln narket lall does not only cone lron tle
area ol Östernaln, but also lron tle Nortlern suburbs ol Stockloln.
Tle ¡recise location, on tle square ol Östernalns torg, close to tle net-
ro and several ¡edestrian streets and connercial and slo¡¡ing streets,
guarantees a steady ßow ol ¡eo¡le, even tlougl botl vendors and tle
Market Hall Adninistration con¡lained tlat tle lack ol ¡arking s¡ace
lindered sone ol tle suburban custoners lron coning in. Östernaln
narket lall is a nassive brick building witl tle nain entrance lacing tle
square ol Östernalns torg. Tlis nain entrance las tle sla¡e ol a tower.
It is olten con¡ared to a catledral or a ten¡le ol lood. More tlan a ca-
tledral, tle arclitecture brings to nind a nedieval castle lousing a glass
and cast-iron construction.
Tle building was tlreatened witl denolition in tle 1960s to give way
to a ¡arking garage, but it was saved and given ¡ractically tle sane status
as a listed building. To a certain extent, tlis lan¡ers tle renodeling ol
tle narket lall. Lven tle basenent, wlicl is not visible to tle ¡ublic,
is not easily renodeled. U¡ in tle actual sales area, tle Stockloln City
Museun would like to restore tle original colors witl blue and red dé-
cor, and nore unihed liglting arrangenents. Tlis, lowever, runs con-
trary to tle vendors` desires lor distinction ol tleir own stores. In late
2005, Tysta Mari and Beirut Calé renodeled tleir stores, and tle dis¡lay
counters were not laslioned alter tle otler vendors` witl tleir wooden
lined counters. Instead tle counters lave tleir own, individual looks. tle
Beirut Calé ¡lays witl tle Oriental toucl, wlile Tysta Mari uses snall
turquoise tiles to natcl its Mediterranean tlene. At tle sane tine, lis-
tory is now an asset wlicl tle vendors ex¡loit very consciously, es¡ecially
on Östernaln narket lall`s website. Il we look at tle sell ¡resentation
on tle website, it clearly uses listory and tradition to ¡ronote tle narket
lall ol today.
Östernalns Salulall A tastier world.

You`ll hnd a dillerent, lar tastier world in Östernalns Salulall.
Tlis lantastic building lad barely o¡ened its doors back in
1888 wlen its business began to blosson into a real asset lor
Stockloln`s nany lovers ol good lood. Soon anyone wlo really
a¡¡reciated good lood and tle hnest ingredients ßocked lere.
Clels and restaurateurs wlo were ¡urveyors to tle royal louse-
lold ningled witl ordinary lolk, standing in tle sane queue
at tleir lavourite stall to buy lron one ol tle nany dedicated

setting the scene 217
A stall, restaurant or calé in Östernalns Salulall soon becane
a nucl souglt alter ¡lace ol lonour. Once you lad one, you
lad to lold your own against still con¡etition lor tle custon-
ers` lavour. Knowledge, ex¡erience and quality were tle order ol
tle day. And tle °lair hgltº continues today, witl no clance ol
cleating. Tle rules are tle sane as tley always lave been, witl
visitors to tle Food Hall being judge, jury and winners every
Tlis las very little to do witl listory or listorical lacts, but it slows tle
in¡ortance ol using listory. Tle use ol listory is also reßected in tle
nanes ol tle stores in Östernaln narket lall, wlere quite a lew stores
use °Successorº in tleir nane. It is lowever, a delicate balance between
reverence and innovation. How are new custoners attracted· Östernaln
17. °Östernalns Salulall A tastier worldº Ac-
cessed Novenber 1, 2006.
8.5 The exterior of Östermalm market
hall. The Market Hall Administration.
chapter 8 218
narket lall las so lar successlully nanaged to naintain tlis balance by
sonetines adnitting new exotic additions to tle existing nix ol stores,
sucl as Beirut calé at tle end ol 2005. Tlis is a Lebanese caterer, wlicl
is connected to a stylisl Lebanese restaurant in tle area ol Östernaln. It
tlus brings in a bit ol exoticisn, but salely clic and a¡¡roved. Lven in tle
case ol eacl vendor`s su¡¡ly, tlere needs to be a carelul balance between
tle traditional and tle innovative, wlicl becones nore critical lere tlan
in tle otler narket lalls, as Östernaln narket lall tlrives on nostalgia
and tradition.
Östernaln narket lall las a re¡utation lor being snobbisl and lor
attracting a liglbrow clientele, witl a lair anount ol celebrities and roy-
alty. Tlis re¡utation is olten conhrned by botl custoners and vendors,
as well as by tle Market Hall Adninistration. Many ¡eo¡le s¡ontaneously
say tlat tle tlree narket lalls lave very dillerent anbience and claracter.
Vlen asked to dehne tle tlree narket lalls, ¡eo¡le olten describe Öster-
naln narket lall as nore snobbisl (il tley disa¡¡rove) or nore stylisl
(il tley a¡¡rove). Anong stall, tlis claracterization cones u¡ quite lre-
quently. Östernaln narket lall is also ¡erceived as tle nost traditional
and tle nost °Swedislº ol tle narket lalls, botl by vendors and custon-
ers. Vlat tlis Swedislness consists ol is larder to deternine. It seens to
be a conglonerate ol old day nostalgia and ¡roud nationalisn. It is lere
in ¡articular tlat you hnd tle disles tlat were iconized by tle legendary
Swedisl clel Tore Vretnan in tle 1960s as tle national cuisine, sucl
as lerring-rissole witl currant sauce, steak Vallenberg, or salnon ¡ud-
ding. Tle sense ol Swedislness is also articulated in ¡ride ol tle salety
ol Swedisl lood regulations and aninal wellare, wlicl translates into a
s¡ontaneous certainty tlat anytling ¡roduced in Sweden nust be ol su-
¡erior quality, sin¡ly because it is Swedisl. Tlis sentinent is not linited
to Östernaln narket lall, but it is nore lrequently ex¡ressed lere.
In Östernaln narket lall tlere is greater concentration ol owner-
sli¡ tlan in any ol tle otler narket lalls. In total tlere are nineteen
stores and restaurants. Tle Melander and tle Llnqvist grou¡ are tle big-
gest entre¡reneurs in Östernaln narket lall, and botl grou¡s also lave
ventures outside tle narket lall, sucl as restaurants and catering. A¡art
lron tleir own store, tle Llnqvist grou¡ control Gerdas hsk, Husnans
deli, and Planet lood. In addition to tlis, tle Llnqvist lanily is related to
Birgitta Åls, wlo runs one ol tle snaller slo¡s, and are said to su¡¡ort
ler by buying hsl at nore reasonable ¡rices. Tle Melander grou¡ con-
trols Tysta Mari, and alnost took over tle store now leld by Beirut Calé.
Botl bakers` slo¡s actually belong to tle sane con¡any, wlicl in turn
controls all tle bakers` slo¡s in all tlree narket lalls.
setting the scene 219
However, in 2005 and 2006, Östernaln narket lall did lave tle nost
elaborate website (tle only one in botl Swedisl and Lnglisl), and tlere
are also a nunber ol books ¡ublisled on tle listory ol Östernaln nar-
ket lall, wlicl is not tle case lor tle otler narket lalls. Tle Market Hall
Adninistration connissioned a con¡any called Inlobolaget to ¡roduce
a book on tle narket lall. Tlis was done in connection witl tle renova-
tion ol Östernaln narket lall in 1998 to celebrate tle 110tl anniversary
ol tle narket lall.
Slo¡s in Decenber 2005
Nybroe Snørrebrød (restaurant)
Anandas Brodbod (bread & ¡astry)
B Andersson Fagel & Vilt (lowl & gane)
Betsy Sandberg Cloklad (clocolates & conlectionary)
Systrarna Anderssons Henbageri (bread & ¡astry)
Birgitta Åls Fiskallar (hsl)
Suslibaren Östernaln (susli restaurant)
Gerdas Fisk & Skaldjursrestaurang (hsl restaurant)
J L Olsson & Soner Frukt, Gronsaker & Konserver
(lruit & vegetables)
Lisa Llnqvist Fisk, Skaldjur, Delikatesser o. Rest.
(hsl & restaurant)
Lisbetl Janson Lltr. Frukt & Gront (lruit & vegetables)
Melanders Fisk, Vilt & Catering (hsl, gane & catering)
M Seger Lltr. Kott & Ost (neat & cleese)
Beirut Calé Deli (Lebanese last lood)
Husnans Deli AB (delicatessen & catering)
Planet Food (lealtly last lood)
Roberts Collee (collee & tea)
Tysta Mari Restaurang, Butik & Catering
(bread & ¡astry, cleese & catering)
Villy Ollsson Lltr. (neat & cleese)
Södermalm and Söderhallarna market hall
Sodernaln was tle working class district ¡ar excellence in Stockloln
well into tle twentietl century. Tle na¡ does not reveal tle geogra¡li-
cal s¡ecihcities ol Sodernaln, nanely tlat it is situated on a nountain,
wlicl nade it nore inaccessible and larder to develo¡. In tle eiglteentl
century, Sodernaln was still very nucl tle countryside, wlere ricl ¡eo-
¡le lad country louses, grew vegetables, and did a bit ol liglt larning. A
chapter 8 220
lew ¡roto-industries were located in Sodernaln as well. Tle essentially
rural claracter ol Sodernaln ¡revailed long into tle nineteentl century,
long alter tle wealtly lad abandoned tleir urban larning sclenes. Fac-
tories and slanty towns develo¡ed in tleir ¡lace. Tle slanty towns were
re¡laced by nore orderly town louses, but tle living standards were low
and ¡overty endenic.
Vell into tle 1940s, Sodernaln was considered to be a rougl area
by nenbers ol tle bourgeoisie lron otler ¡arts ol Stockloln. At tlis
¡oint, nore ¡ositive inages ol Sodernaln and working class ¡eo¡le in
¡o¡ular culture began to re¡lace tle notion tlat Sodernaln was a ¡lace
ol nisery, crine, and violence. Instead, Sodernaln was ¡ortrayed as tle
synbol ol la¡¡y working class insouciance and clarn. Tle working
class identity was su¡¡lenented by an artistic and bolenian identity.

Sodernaln lad 111,640 inlabitants in 2006, wlicl nakes it tle nost
¡o¡ulous ¡art ol tle inner city. Tle average incone is lower tlan in City
or Östernaln. Fron tle nid-1980s, Sodernaln las been ex¡eriencing
a wave ol gentrihcation, but tle inagined ¡lace identity ol Sodernaln
continues to be tlat ol working class and bolenian casualness, even il
tlis inter¡retation is waning.
Tle nost recent addition anong tle Stockloln narket lalls is So-
derlallarna narket lall, inaugurated in 1992, riglt at tle leiglt ol tle
1990s recession. Tle ¡lan lor tle narket lall began during tle 1980s
boon, and can be inter¡reted as a way ol lollowing tle general interna-
tional trend ol urban regeneration. Tle original design was leaning nucl
nore on an earlier tradition in tle design ol narket lalls, witl large glass
and iron constructions in tle style ol tle Crystal Palace. Tle large glass
arcles were dro¡¡ed in tle hnal design, but above tle niniature narket
lall tle ceiling is just as ligl as in Östernaln narket lall, witl slo¡s
and olhces in arcades around it. Tlis actually larkens back to tle early
narket lalls on tle continent and in Great Britain, dating as lar back as
tle seventeetl century, wlere elegant slo¡s were sonetines built around
tle narket lall as tle center ol trade.
However, in Soderlallarna nar-
ket lall tlis atten¡t at buying into tradition is lost on nany consuners,
wlo associate tle non-lood slo¡s in tle ßoors above to nodern slo¡-
¡ing nalls and gallerias.
Tlere are only eleven slo¡s (lour ol wlicl serve lood) and lour restau-
rants in Soderlallarna narket lall. Tle square outside livens u¡ during
18. Tlese are gradual clanges and nerely reßect low a working class area is
recasted in new ways. Tle sane tendencies are at work in otler cities, and are
nost olten discussed in terns ol gentrihcation.
19. Sclnieclen, J. A. & Carls, K., The British market hall, ¡. 105-111.
setting the scene 221
tle sunner, but tlere is not tle sane connotion and trade as at Ho-
torget. Only one ßorist is tlere ¡ernanently, nucl to tle disnay ol tle
ßorist inside ol Soderlallarna narket lall, since tle o¡en air ßorist sells
ßowers at lower ¡rices (albeit witl lower quality). Soderlallarna narket
lall is ¡art ol a larger zone witl slo¡s, restaurants, cinenas, and olhces
in tle twin buildings tlat lorn Soderlallarna narket lall. Tle narket
lall is but a snall ¡art ol tlis, but it las a central ¡lacenent, and tle
revolving doors ¡ass ¡eo¡le directly into tle narket lall lron tle square
outside, even il tlere are several otler entrances to tle narket lall lron
inside tle twin buildings.
Tle narket lall was conceived lor tle new residential area ol Sodra
station wlicl is directly belind tle square ol Medborgar¡latsen. Vlen
tlis area was built, it raised debates on tle gentrihcation ol Sodernaln,
wlicl is a traditional working class area ol Stockloln.
For tle narket
lall tlis is ¡ositive, as nore ¡eo¡le witl larger dis¡osable incones nove
20. Ålund, B., °Pa s¡aning elter soderandanº, Accessed
May 8, 2007, Franzén, M., °New social novenents and gentrihcation in
Hanburg and Stockloln. a con¡arative analysisº, Journal of housing and the
built environment, Vol. 20, Nunber 1, Marcl 2005, Franzén, M., Den folkliga
8.6 Interior of Söderhallarna market
hall. The Market Hall Administration.
chapter 8 222
into tle neiglborlood, olten tle new residents nay be claracterized as
¡art ol tle gastrononic niddle classes. Tlere are quite a lot ol businesses
and olhces in tle neiglborlood around Soderlallarna narket lall, as
well as a¡artnent buildings. It is also in a lairly central location on So-
dernaln, witl tle subway station just next to it and a connuter train
station in tle near vicinity.
Ol tle two renaining larners` narkets in Stockloln, tle one on So-
dernaln is decidedly tle largest and tle nost successlul, in addition to
being tle hrst in Sweden.
In ¡art because tle vendors need to establisl
tleir narket lall as a °genuineº narket lall and in ¡art because tley need
to carve out a nicle lor tlenselves in tle Stockloln loodsca¡e, tle ven-
dors in Soderlallarna narket lall locus nore on ¡resenting tle breeders
and ¡urveyors ol tleir loodstulls tlan tle vendors in tle otler narket
Tley dis¡lay tlen on tleir counters, and use tlen on tle website.
°Tle ¡roducts in tle narket lall cone lron carelully selected breeders
and ¡urveyors. Lacl vendor las s¡ecialized in one line ol trade and con-
sequently ¡ossesses s¡ecial con¡etency on lis ¡roducts.º
Tlis leature
is ¡articularly salient witl one vendor, but due to lis central location in
tle narket lall, tlis reßects on tle neiglboring vendors wlo lollow suit
and dis¡lay tleir ¡urveyors as well. Vlen asked, one vendor told ne tlat
nany ol tle custoners lave tleir sunner louses on Gotland or Öland
and like to buy ¡roducts tlat tley recognize lron tleir sunner lolidays.
°Ol, low nice! Rosas clark (Rosa`s ¡ork-butcler`s), we always buy our
sausages tlere wlen we`re on Ölandº.
Tle locus on snall-scale ¡urveyors and artisanal ¡roducts justihes
ligler ¡rices, and convey notions ol autlenticity and salety. Food is no
longer anonynous, as tlere is a ¡roducer witl a nane and lace belind
tle ¡roduct. Tle tendency to u¡grade tle snall-scale and tle genuine
is ¡erla¡s a way ol countering tle lack ol °narket lall leelº wlicl sone
accuse tle nodern Soderlallarna narket lall ol, or ¡erla¡s it is just a
21. Farners` narkets in Stockloln in tle ¡resent lorn were introduced in
tle 1990s by an Lnglislnan living in Stockloln. Tley can be inter¡reted as
a wisl to reconnect to older traditions. At one ¡oint, tlere was also a larners`
narket at Kungslolnen, but tlis one vanisled in a cou¡le ol years.
22. A new slo¡ o¡ened in Hotorget narket lall in August 2007 wlicl sliglt-
ly alters tlis claracteristic. it calls itsell Tle Farner`s store and narkets
snall-scale regional ¡roducts lron various ¡arts ol Sweden. Tle tendency
to u¡grade tle local las generally taken on a greater signihcance alter tle
heldwork lor tlis study was con¡leted.
23. ºSalulallens ¡rodukterna konner lran utvalda u¡¡lodare ocl leveran-
torer. Varje landlare lar en s¡eciell inriktning ocl darned s¡ecialkunska¡er
on sina ¡rodukter.º Accessed Novenber 1, 2006
setting the scene 223
res¡onse to ¡erceived and inagined custoner ¡relerences. At any rate,
it contributes to creating tle anbience ol Soderlallarna narket lall.
Tlis locus on tle ¡roducer is also very nucl a ¡lenonenon ol tle late
twentietl century and beginning ol tle twenty-hrst century, and can be
lound in otler retail situations as well. Tle nane and ¡lotogra¡l ol tle
breeder on tle ¡ackage wlen you buy clicken in tle su¡ernarket is just
one sucl exan¡le outside tle narket lall context.

Since Soderlallarna narket lall is ¡art ol a larger business con¡lex,
tle business association las nore resources lere tlan in any ol tle otler
narket lalls. Tley actually lave a ¡erson en¡loyed to take care ol nar-
keting and events, wlicl nay ex¡lain wly Soderlallarna narket lall las
24. For an account ol low stories are used as a way to sell lood, see Freidberg,
S., °Not all sweetness and liglt. New cultural geogra¡lies ol loodº Social
and Cultural Geography, 4(1) 2003, ¡¡. 3-6, lor tle in¡ortance ol ¡lace and
¡rovenance in tle selling ol quality loods, see lor exan¡le M. Harvey, A. Mc-
Meekin & A. Varde (eds.) Qualities of food, Goodnan, D., °Tle quality `turn`
and alternative lood ¡ractices. Reßections and agenda, Journal of Rural Studies,
19, 2003, ¡¡. 1-7, Goodnan, D. & Goodnan, M., °Localisn, liveliloods and
tle `¡ost-organic`. Clanging ¡ers¡ectives on alternative lood networks in tle
United Statesº, In D Maye, L. Holloway and M Knealsey (eds.) Constructing
alternative food geographies.
8.7 The exterior of Söderhallarna market
hall. The Market Hall Administration.
chapter 8 224
nore events tlan tle otler narket lalls. Lvery s¡ring and lall tlere is
a ¡arty in tle narket lall ¡art ol Soderlallarna to ¡ronote tle entire
slo¡¡ing center and attract new custoners lor all slo¡kee¡ers. Tlese
¡arties are arranged by ¡rolessionals wlo lave tleir guest lists and try to
create tle riglt anbience witl a selection ol celebrities. Tle vendors and
business ¡eo¡le ol tle entire slo¡¡ing center are also allowed to invite
¡eo¡le lor tlese ¡arties. Vlo slould be invited and wly nay give rise to
diverging views. Not all vendors lave tle sane idea ol low tlis slould be
nanaged. However, nost ol tlen are la¡¡y witl tle ¡ublicity tley get.
Sonetines tle vendors initiate events. During tle election can¡aign
in 2002, ¡eo¡le were invited to a °¡ie-in-tle-sky-¡arty,º
wlere ¡oliti-
cians lron tle dillerent ¡arties entered a cooking con¡etition wlile dis-
cussing ¡olitics to attract voters. Tlis also reßects tle s¡irit ol tle neigl-
borlood ol Sodernaln, °soderandanº, wlicl is su¡¡osed to be witty and
lolksy, lull ol good intentions and solidarity. Tlis nay contribute to giv-
ing Soderlallarna narket lall a less snobbisl air, des¡ite tle lact tlat tle
¡rices are nore or less tle sane as in Östernaln narket lall.
Slo¡s in Decenber 2005
Soderlallarnas blonnor (ßorist)
Gronsakslandet (lruit & vegetables)
Hinalaya Te & Kalle (tea & collee)
Ingelsta Kalkon (delicatessen witl turkey neat as s¡ecialty)
La Petite (bread and ¡astry)
Lulles Fagel & Vilt (lowl & gane)
Melanders Deli (delicatessen)
Melanders hsk, butik & restaurang (hsl & restaurant)
P&B Delikatesser ocl Goda Presenter (clocolates, oils, nustards,
jans, etc.)
Sandstrons Kott ocl Catering (neat & catering)
Sodercleesen (cleese & cured neats)
Sodernanna vegetarisk restaurang (vegetarian restaurant)
Kebabkoket (last lood)
Soder Ls¡resso (calé)
Fresl Calé & Salladsbar (last lood)
25. A ¡lay on words is tle double neaning ol °valßask,º as election ¡ronises
and tle nore naterial as¡ect ol °ßaskº as °¡orkº.
setting the scene 225
The temporal dimension
Tle narket lall is olten ¡ortrayed by vendors and custoners alike as an
institution wlicl always renains tle sane, a synbol ol continuity and
tradition. But il we look into wlat is going on we see a ratler dillerent
¡icture, tlat tle narket lall is constantly renewing and reinventing itsell.
Tlere are several ways ol ada¡ting to tle ¡resent. Vlat vendors dehne as
tle nost ¡ressing need is tlat ol hnding alternative ways ol naking non-
ey wlen tle everyday slo¡¡ing in tle narket lalls dininisles. Catering
and ¡arties arranged in tle narket lall itsell are two exan¡les ol low
tle narket lall las ada¡ted to tle con¡etition lron tle conventional
lood clains. Vletler tlere las ever been true everyday slo¡¡ing in tle
narket lalls in tle ¡ast is not a relevant issue. To tle vendors, tlere is
tle sense tlat tley are losing ground, and tlat tley need to ada¡t to tle
Con¡anies are tle ¡rinary target audience lor big ¡arties, but clubs
and ¡rivate ¡arties also ask lor all sorts ol events, sucl as in connection to
an annual neeting in a club, or to celebrate a stag ¡arty, or a birtlday cel-
ebration. Sonetines tle dillerent vendors oller to teacl sonetling sucl
as low to hlet a hsl, and tlen cook witl a clel, or to cut u¡ neat and
tlen stay and cook. Con¡anies are also targeted lor tle gilt vouclers or
tle various gilt ¡ackages to oller clients or en¡loyees. But tle backbone
ol tle narket lalls today renains tle luncles, sonetines relerred to as
tle narket lall savior, and tle take-out and ready-cooked neals by tle
vendors and tle narket lall adninistrators alike.

Tle narket lall is sensitive to clanges in tine, season, and weatler.
Tlere is a distinctive rlytln to tle day, tle week, tle nontl, and tle
year. Tle nornings are busy ¡re¡aring lor tle day and dis¡laying tle
loodstulls in tle nost ten¡ting nanner belore tle narket lall o¡ens.
In Östernaln narket lall, tle custoners can cone in belore tle o¡ening
lours, tlus naking tle norning nore ol a slow tlan in tle otler nar-
ket lalls. Tlere is a dillerence tlougl. Belore o¡ening lours tle vendors
sonetines listen to tle radio, wlicl never la¡¡ens during olhcial o¡en-
ing lours. In tle Soderlallarna and Hotorget narket lalls tle nusic is
nucl louder, tle talk and jokes are louder and cruder. Tle custoners
do not gain access to tle narket lall belore tle olhcial o¡ening lour.
Tlere is a rusl around luncl tine, es¡ecially lor tlose selling take out
lood. Slow alternoons are lollowed by a rusl belore closing tine. Tle
26. Incidentally, wlen tle sell-service stores o¡ened, tle ready-nade disles
lel¡ed boost ¡rohtability. See lor exan¡le ºSjalvbetjaning i Stockloln... ocl
i Gavleº, Butikskultur, Nr 4 1950 ¡. 20-21.
chapter 8 226
beginning ol tle week is slow, and nost ol tle tine is s¡ent waiting and
¡re¡aring lor tle connerce ol tle weekend.
Tlis tendency can be seen in otler retail stores as well, es¡ecially tle
big su¡ernarkets outside town slow tle sane ¡attern. Peo¡le tend to
s¡end less on lood, entertainnent, and otler consun¡tion articles to-
ward tle end ol tle nontl belore tle next ¡aycleck arrives. Tle tendency
is tle sane in tle Soderlallarna and Hotorget narket lalls, even il tlere
is little or no sucl tendency in Östernaln narket lall. Tle year is nore
in¡ortant witl tle big lolidays being tle nost in¡ortant tines ol tle
year. But tlis rlytln is u¡set il tle weatler is bad, or sonetines il it is
too sunny and warn tle custoners ski¡ tle narket lall.
Clristnas is by lar tle busiest tine, but tle New Year celebration is
judged as tle nost ¡rohtable. In Östernaln narket lall, one ol tle hsl
vendors las set u¡ a s¡ecial lobster basin lor New Year`s.
Tle twelltl day
celebrations are es¡ecially ¡rohtable lor tle ßorist, since nany ¡eo¡le are
invited lor dinner and like to bring elegant ßowers to tleir losts. Laster
is a tricky season, and tle lact tlat tle sclool Laster lolidays are now
tle week before Laster las lad a negative ellect on trade according to tle
vendors. Il Laster is too early or too late, tlis is said to lave negative el-
lects on tle sales. Ascension and Vlitsun are de¡endent on tle weatler.
Midsunner is lairly good. Alter tle Swedisl nidsunner loliday, tlere
is virtually no activity until August, wlen tle crayhsl and tle lernented
Baltic lerring seasons start.
Botl slo¡¡ing according to and in o¡¡osition to tle seasons could be
seen as ideals. Frozen berries, lor exan¡le, are narketed as being °¡icked
at tle riglt seasonº. Tlis is a way to overcone tle tine constraint ol
tle seasons, wlile still ¡aying attention to tleir in¡ortance lor quality.
Tle traditional starting date lor crayhsl las disa¡¡eared, nucl to tle
disnay ol sone vendors wlo would ¡reler to lave an olhcial date tlat
could nark tle beginning ol tle crayhsl season, and tlus give occasion
to celebrate and connercialize tle celebration. Fernented Baltic lerring
still las an olhcial starting date, and de¡ending on tle initiative ol tle
vendors, tlis can be turned into an event. Fernented Baltic lerring is an
acquired taste, and its ¡ungent snell nakes narketing events dilhcult.
For sone reason, tle niddle ¡art ol October (week 41) seens to be a bit
ol a boon tine, at least in Östernaln narket lall.
Sone vendors clain tlat tle lunting season las a detrinental in-
ßuence on sales in tle narket lalls since °everyone wlo knows low to
cook is out luntingº. Otler vendors tlink it is just tle o¡¡osite, tlat
27. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tlursday Decenber 29,
setting the scene 227
tle lunting season neans business. Tlere is a season lor lobsters and a
season lor crabs. Sone vendors do not sell crabs to sone ol tleir regular
custoners wlen tle season is over, even wlen tley stock tlen lor otler
custoners. Here seasonality is a convention establisled between vendor
and custoner, wlere knowledge and autlenticity lorn tle essence ol tle
notion ol quality.
Tlere is a re-invention ol tradition going on, tle nost obvious being
Marten Gas.
Tlis conjures tle in¡ression ol buying nostalgia and lost
traditions. Il Halloween to a certain extent las entered Swedisl society as
a new tradition, Tlanksgiving renains very narginal, only a lew turkeys
are sold, es¡ecially to Anericans or otlers witl an Anerican connection.
Otlerwise turkey is sold lor Clristnas and New Year`s, as well as lor tle
Twelltl Day celebrations. Tle lernented Baltic lerring lestival is one ex-
an¡le ol an atten¡t to create a new tradition. One ol tle vendors in Ho-
torget narket lall was a ten¡orary lonorary nenber ol tle Fernented
Baltic Herring Acadeny, and le initiated tle lernented Baltic lerring
lestival in 2004. So lar, tlere las been no lollow-u¡ ol tlis lestival.
A nore successlul exan¡le is tle National Oyster Clan¡ionsli¡s,
wlicl was started in Östernaln narket lall in 1977 by tle legendary
lood journalist Inger Grinlund. Fron 2002, tle National Oyster Clan-
¡ionsli¡s took ¡lace in Soderlallarna narket lall instead. Oyster Clan-
¡ionsli¡s are ¡art ol a worldwide ¡lenonenon. Tle Vorld Clan¡ion-
sli¡s lave been in ¡lace in Ireland lor tle ¡ast hlty years and are arranged
by tle Galway Oyster Festival Connittee. In addition to tlis, tlere are
tle Luro¡ean Oyster Clan¡ionsli¡, wlicl began in 2004, and tle Nor-
dic Oyster Clan¡ionsli¡. Jubilees are used as occasions lor celebration.
Östernaln narket lall las celebrated its 75tl, 80tl, 90tl and, ol course,
100tl year jubilee. Hotorget and Soderlallarna narket lalls also cel-
ebrate tleir jubilees, but ¡erla¡s witl sligltly less lervor.
The benefit of comparisons
Tlere are nany tlings tlat are connon to all tlree narket lalls. Tle act
ol sale in all tlree narket lalls is dehned by sellers and buyers, as o¡¡osed
to a generalized ¡icture ol tle anonynous su¡ernarket. Tlat is, slo¡-
¡ing lor lood in tle narket lall is an exclange, a negotiation, a social
institution. By slo¡¡ing in a narket lall, you nay also enact wlo you
are. Since it can be seen as ¡art ol an identity ¡roject, tle visual and tle
social are in¡ortant. Botl tle visual and tle social are in¡ortant as¡ects
28. See lor exan¡le Hobsbawn, L. J. & Ranger, T. O. (eds.) The invention of
chapter 8 228
ol low a ¡lace is ¡erceived and ex¡erienced. Tle ¡lysical roon ol eacl
narket lall ollers s¡ecihc settings lor low tle neaning ol tle ¡lace can
be ¡erceived, ex¡erienced, or even inagined. Tle narket lall is dehned
as a lilestyle. To work in a narket lall is ollering tine, allowing tlings
to take tine, ¡resenting sonetling related to anotler tine or ¡lace. It is
wlere tle instinct ol craltsnansli¡ is still valued. In a sense, tlis is also a
stereoty¡e, a story tlat tle vendors tell tlenselves about tlenselves.
To slo¡ in a narket lall is ¡lacing yoursell in tlis context, as well as
¡artici¡ating in creating tle context. In tle narket lall tlere are cultures
ol waiting, tlere is a clear ideal ol allowing tlings to take tine. At tle
sane tine, tlere are always custoners wlo are in a rusl, lor wlon s¡e-
cial orders lave been ¡re¡ared in advance. But being in a rusl seens to
be anatlena to tle narket lall, and even tle custoners wlo cone in to
¡ick u¡ tleir ¡reordered slo¡¡ing bags allow tlenselves to exclange a
lew words witl tle vendors belore tley nove on. Only tle lruit and veg-
etable stand seens to invite custoners to start ¡icking tlings tlenselves.
Perla¡s it is tle lact tlat tlis is tle only ¡lace wlere tle loodstulls are
dis¡layed in sucl a way tlat custoners can toucl tlen.
However, tlere are dillerences in low tlese values are enacted. Tlis
dehnes low notions ol quality are acted out, low consuners dehne
tlenselves, and low tle vendors ¡resent tlenselves. In Östernaln nar-
ket lall, tradition and nostalgia ¡lay tle nost in¡ortant ¡art. In Ho-
torget narket lall, it is nore a question ol slo¡¡ing lor exoticisn and
autlenticity. In Soderlallarna narket lall, tle locus is on ¡roducers and
¡urveyors, on tle artisanal and tle snall-scale. In all tlree narket lalls,
¡lace las a neaning, and tleir ¡lace in tle city dehnes tle linits ol tlis
Customers: the consumers
Tlere are nany dillerent ways ol looking at tle consuner in tle acadenic
literature. In The making of the consumer. Knowledge, power and identity in the
modern world, Frank Trentnann and a nunber ol otler sclolars exanine
tle elusive consuner, and low tlis conce¡t energed as a naster category
alongside conce¡ts like °consuner societyº. Starting witl various exan-
¡les, ranging lron Victorian tea consun¡tion to conten¡orary nultina-
tional stores in Clina, tle autlors denonstrate tlat tle consuner as a
conce¡t is by no neans sell-evident. Tle consuner in tlis analysis turns
out to be tle result ol listorical circunstances. Anotler in¡ortant ¡oint
is tlat tle consuner cannot be seen as tle result ol a linear listorical ¡ro-
gression, nor as a single universal category. Instead, Trentnann s¡eaks ol
°nulti¡le and clanging boundaries ol tle consunerº.
Tlese boundaries
are constantly renegotiated. °Languages ol tle consuner (like otler core
identities) are situated in beliels and ¡ractices. In dillerent contexts tlese
can be nobilized in dillerent ways, wlicl, in turn, inßuence ¡erce¡tions
ol tle consuner.º

Tlis is central to understanding tle consuners in tle narket lall in
tle beginning ol tle twenty-hrst century. Consuners in tle narket lalls
1. Trentnann, Frank, ºKnowing Consuners Histories, Identities, Practices.
An Introductionº, In F. Trentnann (ed.), The making of the consumer, ¡. 10,
en¡lasis in original.
2. Trentnann, Frank, ºKnowing Consuners Histories, Identities, Practices.
An Introductionº, In F. Trentnann (ed.), The making of the consumer, ¡. 11.
chapter 9 230
are engaging in certain ¡ractices, and tley lold certain beliels as will be
seen in tlis cla¡ter. But low tley articulate tlese beliels de¡ends u¡on
wlat is ¡ossible and neaninglul to say at tlis ¡oint in tine about wlo
you are as a consuner. Not every consuner or every act ol consun¡tion
is a conscious statenent, it ranges lron a taken-lor-granted attitude to
an extrenely reßexive stance towards consun¡tion. Tlere are also dil-
lerent ways ol dehning wlat constitutes tle act ol consun¡tion itsell.
Consuner tleorist Susan Villis states tlat.
In advanced consuner society, tle act ol consun¡tion need not
involve econonic exclange. Ve consune witl our eyes, taking
in connodities every tine we ¡usl a grocery cart u¡ and down
tle aisles in a su¡ernarket, or watcl TV, or drive down a logo-
studded liglway.
Il we acce¡t Villis` dehnition ol consun¡tion, tle ¡eo¡le wlo are °just
lookingº, and wlo are described lron tine to tine as leecles (just con-
suning tle atnos¡lere but never contributing to connerce) are also
¡art ol tle consuner culture ol tle narket lall. According to Pine and
Gilnore, in tleir nucl cited The Experience Economy, tlere will be ways
tlat tlese ty¡es ol ¡leasant ex¡eriences can be turned into a connod-
ity - a noney generating activity in tle luture. It is all about turning use
value into exclange value. Pine and Gilnore clain tlat tlis is tle new

Tle narket lall, witl its strong en¡lasis on tle visual, is very nucl
¡art ol wlat can be inter¡reted as tle ex¡erience econony. How tle con-
nodities are ¡resented is tle hrst cue to attracting tle custoner, but tle
narket lall is ollering tlis visual vista lor lree as no one is obliged to buy
anytling u¡on entering a narket lall. Nevertleless, tle ¡assive onlook-
ers, i.e. tle consuners ol atnos¡lere, can be inter¡reted as contributing
to tle very sane atnos¡lere and enlancing tle value ol tle ex¡erience ol
otlers - contributing in a dillerent currency to tle narket lall econony.
Slo¡¡ing is . adventure, salari, carnival, and contains unex-
¡ected 'risks` in wlat you nay hnd and wlo you nay neet. It is
a kind ol sell-discovery. And by its very nature it ¡ossesses tle-
atricality. one dresses u¡ to go out and one slo¡s to acquire tle
3. Villis, S., A primer for daily life, ¡. 31.
4. Pine, B. J. & Gilnore, J. H., The experience economy.
customers: the consumers 231
new ¡ersona, to nodily tle old one or to ¡erlect tle setting in
wlicl one is seen and known.

Tlis descri¡tion ol slo¡¡ing as an adventure ¡ositions tle consuner as
an active, con¡etent sign-nani¡ulator, wlo navigates in a re-enclanted
world wlere consun¡tion is an adventure. Tlis view ol consun¡tion and
consuners is in line witl a ¡ost-nodern tradition wlere tle consuner is
king, and wlere consuner cloices are about ex¡loring dillerence, acting
out identities, and seeking ¡leasure.
However, wlicl routes ol ex¡lora-
tion are o¡en or neaninglul, and wlicl identities are ¡ossible to take on,
are not unlinited or arbitrary.
Giving nore weiglt to grou¡s and structures, Bourdieu ex¡lains taste
in terns ol labitus. Tle consuner las learned to seek certain ¡leasures
ratler tlan otlers, certain connodities ratler tlan otlers, and certain
ex¡eriences ratler tlan otlers.
Habitus nay also be inter¡reted as an
ongoing identity ¡roject. Food bouglt in tle narket lall can tlus be
inter¡reted as one ¡ossible ¡art ol an identity ¡roject. It is one way ol
dis¡laying wlo you are, since consun¡tion °is crucially about tle nego-
tiation ol status and identity tle ¡ractice and connunication ol social

Why lifestyle?
Vlen we talk about narket lalls, tle word °lilestyleº tends to cone back
into use, botl by tle consuners and by tle vendors. Consuners clain
tlat it is a lilestyle to slo¡ in a narket lall, and vendors clain tlat it is a
lilestyle to work in a narket lall. Vlat tley nean by tlis varies, de¡end-
ing on wlo is naking tle clain. It is used to connunicate a value, to
signal tlat you are a s¡ecial ¡erson. In tlis cla¡ter, it will be seen low
tlis conce¡t is used to claracterize an ideal ol a certain way ol lile. Tle
Swedisl etlnologist Magnus Morck las written extensively on lilestyles,
and in lis book Spel på ytan le traces tle origins ol tle conce¡t itsell to
tle interwar ¡eriod, wlen it was develo¡ed in ¡arallel to tle Gallu¡ ¡oll.
It las been used ever since by acadenics as well as by narketing ¡eo¡le in
a variety ol ways, tle key leature being tlat goods are ascribed a synbolic
5. Clanner, Joln, °Aestletics ol tle sell. Slo¡¡ing and social being in con-
ten¡orary Ja¡anº, In Rob Slields (ed.), Lifestyle shopping, ¡. 203-4 cited in
Gabriel, Y. & Lang, T., The unmanageable consumer, ¡. 70.
6. Gabriel, Y. & Lang, T., The unmanageable consumer, ¡. 68-71.
7. Gabriel, Y. & Lang, T., The unmanageable consumer, ¡. 105-108.
8. Slater, D., Consumer culture and modernity, ¡. 30.
chapter 9 232
value, wlicl consuners use to ex¡ress tleir lilestyle cloices.
Tle lact
tlat a nultitude ol consuners lad cloices coincides witl tle beginning
ol tle denocratization ol lood. Only tlen does it nake sense to s¡eak
ol lilestyle cloices in lood in a broader sense, even il ¡relerences in lood
and taboos lave always existed. Tle notion ol lilestyles also allects tle
way quality, rationality, and autlenticity are constructed as neaninglul
Lilestyle, tle way Morck uses tle conce¡t, is dehned as sonetling tlat
is always ¡lysically anclored sonewlere. in tle daily routines, in objects,
and in tine scledules. Gender, age, social class and etlnicity all contrib-
ute to deternine wlicl lilestyle is ¡ossible lor tle individual to ado¡t.
Lilestyle is wlat we live and enact in our everyday routines, wlicl allects
low values like quality are ¡erceived. But lilestyle is also a conce¡t used
in everyday lile. It is also used in tle nedia in a casual, natter ol lact way
to describe lile. Morck`s nain ¡oints are. 1) tlat tle value ol tle concrete
exan¡les, i.e. tle ¡eo¡le wlo are allowed to exen¡lily a certain lilestyle,
are uselul because tle ¡ersonal and tle individual allows us to under-
stand sonetling about our dillerent collective realities, wlicl are otler-
wise illusive and dilhcult to gras¡, and 2) tlat tle clear s¡atial dinension
anclors tle conce¡t ol lilestyle in a ¡lysical reality.

Anotler sclolar wlo las used tle conce¡t ol lilestyle is narketing
sclolar Jonatlan Sclroeder. He uses tle conce¡t ol lilestyle ¡articularly
in relation to consun¡tion. He argues tlat we need to ¡ay nore atten-
tion to otler ¡lenonena tlan is generally allowed by tle °nodernist,
rational, ¡lysical ¡roduct-based view ol tle narket.º
By adding lile-
style to tle analysis, it can be seen low tlis allects tle narket and tle
con¡etition. Sclroeder ex¡lains tlat we live in a °ly¡eralßuent societyº,
wlere lilestyle cloices in lact lave a nore decisive role in deternining
wlicl ¡roducts we ultinately consune. Dillerent ¡roducts con¡ete not
only against otler ¡roducts ol tle sane kind, but also against dillerent
categories ol ¡roducts wlere °eacl niglt contribute sinilarly to a con-
suner`s inage and eacl nay be narketed as ¡roducts or services tlat
exen¡lily desired lilestyles.º

In tlis cla¡ter, Morck`s dehnition ol lilestyle will be used to ex¡lore
low tle ¡ractice ol consuners is reenacted in tle narket lall. Tle ¡er-
s¡ective ¡resented by Sclroeder, wlere lilestyle is seen as ¡art ol an iden-
tity lornation, will also be utilized. Lilestyle lere can be seen as a way
9. Morck, M., Spel på ytan, ¡. 15-17.
10. Morck, M., Spel på ytan, ¡. 255-257.
11. Sclroeder, J. L., Visual consumption, ¡. 17.
12. Sclroeder, J. L., Visual consumption, ¡. 17-18.
customers: the consumers 233
to slow wlo you are, low you live, and low you ¡erceive and ¡resent
yoursell. Tlis attitude towards consuners and lilestyle assunes tlat tle
consuner las a real cloice, and tlat consun¡tion is an enjoyable activi-
ty, not an everyday drudge. Tlis excludes consuners lor wlon consun¡-
tion or slo¡¡ing is nore a question ol naking ends neet, ratler tlan a
gratilying identity ¡roject. Tle ¡ressure to consune and to be a consun-
er is extrenely strong in tle twenty-hrst century. Tle ideal ol tle active
consuner ¡erneates society, and adds to tle stress ol tlose wlo cannot
lully ¡artici¡ate or live u¡ to tle ideals ol tle la¡¡y consuner.
Luxury consun¡tion and deliberate cloices as identity narkers lave
becone an ideal. More and nore stores are buying into tle conce¡t by
selling tle senblance ol luxury at discount ¡rices, and o¡ening u¡ lor
°luxury consun¡tion,º as attainable lor all and lereby lurtler en¡la-
sizing tle duty to consune. Still, des¡ite or ¡erla¡s because ol tlis ten-
dency towards a denocratization ol luxury lor all, consun¡tion is nade
neaninglul witlin certain boundaries. Tle lilestyle conce¡t needs to be
¡ut into a nore collective lranework ol labitus and social worlds to ex-
¡lain wlat tle narket lall consuner hnds relevant to lis or ler identity
¡roject, and low a neaninglul re¡ertoire ol actions is lorned.
Who are the customers?
In 2003, tle Stockloln City Council and tle Stockloln Board ol Trade
connissioned a re¡ort on low tle su¡¡ly and denand situation looked
in tle Stockloln area regarding lood.
In tle re¡ort, o¡en air narkets
and narket lalls were grou¡ed in tle sane category. Not unex¡ectedly,
tle actual turnover ol ¡roducts sold at tle o¡en air narkets and in tle
narket lalls was quite low. Tle consuners wlo nost lrequently ¡atron-
ized tle o¡en air narkets and tle narket lalls were alßuent, 55+ years ol
age, and living in tle inner city.
Il we look at tle tlree narket lalls in
13. Efterfrågeundersökningen. Lansstyrelsen i Stockloln, 2003.
14. Tle result is not sur¡rising, it corres¡onds lairly well to wlat several
vendors say, and to tle observations nade in tle narket lalls over tle year.
A researcl re¡ort lron a ¡roject about consuners 55 years ol age and over
in Sweden, ºDen nangdinensionella natkonsunenten. Varderingar ocl
beteende los konsunenter 55+º, Vin, växthus och vänskap, co-autlored by a
grou¡ ol researclers lron several dillerent disci¡lines, ¡resents belaviors,
values, and attitudes anong tlis age grou¡ ol consuners. Ls¡ecially ol inter-
est to tlis study are tle cultural studies oriented a¡¡roacl by Brenbeck and
tle business econonic a¡¡roacl by Ossiansson, as tley locus on tle values
leld by tle grou¡ ol consuners wlo nake u¡ tle greater ¡art ol tle narket
lall clientele.
chapter 9 234
tlis study, nany custoners dehne tlenselves as conscious consuners,
i.e. knowledgeable about lood and interested in lood and gastronony.
One sucl custoner is a career lousewile I net in Östernaln nar-
ket lall. As I interviewed ler, sle dehned lersell as soneone wlo enjoys
cooking and knows quality. Her deliglt in cooking cane gradually, lron
studying restaurant nenus and good cookbooks, and ol course lron
constant ¡ractice. Sle reverted to tle tlene ol quality all tlrougl tle
interview. For exan¡le, sle told ne tlat excellent raw naterial is tle basis
lor cooking, and tlat sle lad learned to recognize good quality by liv-
ing in Switzerland. Here relerences to Switzerland and restaurants nay
be inter¡reted as ler way to convey tlat sle knows luxury and tlereby

Tlis is not unique to Östernaln narket lall, but it is ex¡ressed in
a dillerent nanner in Hotorget and Soderlallarna narket lalls. For ex-
an¡le, in an interview witl an arclitect I net in Hotorget narket lall,
le ex¡lained tlat le lad always taken an interest in lood, it dated back
to tle 1970s wlen le was living in a connune. He later joined tle
counter novenent against industrial lood ¡roduced by nultinationals,
and le told ne tlat le was vegetarian lor a wlile, as a
reaction to large-scale lactory lood ¡roduction. For lin, tle narket lall
in sone ways resolved tle ¡aradoxes and anbiguities le lelt wlen con-
lronted witl tle nodern lood systen. Tle narket lall ollers just about
anytling your leart desires, and lo¡elully tle lood tlere is nore res¡ect-
lul ol tle environnent. At least it is not so large-scale and industrial, le
Here tle narket lall enbodies notions ol botl quality and
Yet anotler custoner, a wonan in ler late hlties, ex¡lained to ne
tlat sle and ler lanily take a great interest in lood, and tley never eat
hnisled ¡roducts or seni-nanulactured ¡roducts. Sle enjoys tlat tle
vendors know so nucl, and tlat you can discuss reci¡es and ¡rovenance
ol lood witl tlen. °It is like an agreenent, just by being in a narket lall,
eitler as a vendor or as a consuner, you are interested in lood. Tley know
and you know. you all care about lood.º

15. Interview, Friday, Se¡tenber 9, 2005.
16. Mudinuns, wlicl is an acronyn lor Mat Utan Djurindustri Mat Utan
Multinationella Storloretag (lood witlout aninal industries lood witlout
nultinational con¡anies) was lounded in Gavle in tle 1980s as a critique
ol large-scale industrial lood ¡roduction. It is linked to tle environnental
novenent and tle Friends ol tle Lartl society.
17. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Friday, Novenber 4, 2005.
18. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Vednesday, A¡ril 19,
customers: the consumers 235
As tlese exan¡les slow, slo¡¡ing in a narket lall is olten indirectly
relerred to as a lilestyle cloice, as sonetling you do because you are con-
cerned about tle quality and tle ßavors ol tle ¡roducts, tle autlenticity
ol tle ¡roducts, and tle actual slo¡¡ing ex¡erience, - tle ¡rovenance
ol tle lood. To a lesser degree, concerns about tle environnent are ex-
¡ressed in a ¡relerence lor organic loodstulls. In tlis sense, slo¡¡ing
in a narket lall is slo¡¡ing lor various values. tle good, tle bad, tle
lealtly, and tle hltly are all ex¡ressed according to labits and ¡rejudice.
Tlese conce¡tions are rarely logically colerent systens ol tlouglt, tlere
is an¡le roon lor contradictions. One custoner s¡oke ol low lresl all
tle ¡roducts were in tle narket lall, lavislly describing tle hsl and tlen
in tle next sentence voiced concern about tle neat in one ol tle butcler
stores, as it niglt lave been tlere lor °god knows low longº. Sle was in
ler late twenties and not a very lrequent slo¡¡er, only coning in twice a
year or so. Sle also did not eat neat, wlicl nay ex¡lain ler nistrust ol
tle butcler store.

Tlese kinds ol inconsistencies in natters ol lilestyle cloices are con-
non tlougl, as Morck denonstrates in lis interview survey on lilestyle
As we lave seen, consuners dis¡lay various attitudes and give
certain reasons lor slo¡¡ing in narket lalls. Tleir ex¡lanations include
dehnitions botl ol wlo tley tlenselves are and wlo tle otler narket
lall consuners are.
In Östernaln narket lall I talked to a wonan in ler late lorties,
wlo lad just been to Hotorget narket lall to look lor bacalao. Sle ex-
¡lained tlat Östernaln narket lall las nore °leelingº tlan Hotorget
narket lall, wlicl sle qualihed as nore °anonynousº, but at tle sane
tine °nore internationalº. Sle told ne tlat sle knows sle will always get
°qualityº wlen sle slo¡s in Östernaln narket lall, even il it is °awlully
ex¡ensiveº. Besides, it is nucl nore likely tlat sle will neet sonebody
sle knows in Östernaln narket lall. It also reninds ler ol ler clild-
lood, wlen sle went lood slo¡¡ing witl ler grandnotler.
In ex¡ress-
ing ler ¡relerence lor Östernaln narket lall in con¡arison to Hotor-
get narket lall, sle ¡ositions lersell as soneone wlo las roots in tle
Östernaln neiglborlood, tlat is as soneone witl ties to tle ¡lace and
ties back in tine. By attributing quality to tle ¡lace, sle lereby indirectly
inlerred quality to lersell.
Sonetines, tle dehnitions include wlo tle non-narket lall consun-
ers are. Tley are tlen used as contrasts to wlo tle narket lall consuners
19. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Friday, Novenber 11, 2005.
20. Morck, M., Spel på ytan.
21. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Friday, Novenber 4, 2005.
chapter 9 236
are. °Not everyone cares about lood. Or naybe I slould say, not everyone
las tle o¡¡ortunity to slo¡ lere. Ve are ¡rivileged, we can allord it and
we lave tle tine.º
Tle relerence to tle consuners wlo are not slo¡-
¡ing in tle narket lalls is sonetines nore in¡licit, as wlen a niddle-
aged wonan, wlo dehned lersell and ler lanily as °loodiesº, contrasted
tle assortnent in tle narket lalls to tle assortnent in tle conventional
su¡er narket clains, wlere tle lood is sold in bulk, liglly ¡rocessed, and
witlout scent and ßavor.

But tlis sell-dehnition can be very ex¡licit as well. In Östernaln nar-
ket lall I net a nan wlo dehned linsell as a regular custoner (and so
did tle vendors I observed). He kindly ex¡lained to ne tlat we nay divide
tle custoners in Östernaln narket lall into tlree categories. tle tour-
ists, wlo are nainly coning in to lave a look, and wlo, quite lrankly,
can get in tle way ol tle real consuner. Tlen tlere are tle occasional
custoners, wlo buy lood nainly lor Clristnas, and ¡erla¡s lor otler
s¡ecial occasions. Tle hnal category is tle labitual custoners, tle regu-
lar custoners, like linsell, wlo cone in all tle tine.

Tle tlree narket lalls oller dillerent values to tle consuners. Tley
close a narket lall de¡ending on wlicl value tley ¡rioritize, and wlicl
value tley assign to a narket lall, even il nore ¡ractical grounds sucl
as geogra¡lical ¡roxinity nay inßuence tle cloice. Tle consuners are
in a sense occu¡ied in a classihcatory work, assigning certain values to
eacl narket lall, and olten using tlese categorizations to ex¡lain wly
tley close a ¡articular narket lall over anotler. Consuners are not only
actively ¡artaking in tle dehnition work, tley are also subject to categori-
zation by vendors, wlo in turn ¡lace consuners in eacl res¡ective narket
lall into dillerent categories. Tlis categorization assigns dillerent val-
ues to tle consuners. Vendors s¡eak lor exan¡le ol °invoice custonersº,
wlo are usually large custoners tlat ¡lace tele¡lone orders and collect
bags witl ¡re-ordered goods wlen ¡ressed lor tine.
On a Friday alternoon in October, I watcled a latler coning in witl
lis son and dauglter in tow. Tle latler was wearing a navy blue to¡-coat
and a discreet burgundy scarl, tle clildren looked equally well-dressed
and well-bred, in navy-blue witl blond curls and clean laces. Tle latler
joked witl tle stall about low delicious it all was last week, and low le
22. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, July 2004.
23. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Vednesday, A¡ril 19,
24. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Friday, October 14, 2005.
customers: the consumers 237
lo¡es tle lobster will be u¡ to tleir usual standard. I la¡¡ened to catcl
a glin¡se ol tle invoice. 2,600 Swedisl crowns.

Tlen tlere are tle regular custoners, wlo do not use an invoice sys-
ten, sone coning in all tle tine, otlers nainly during tle weekend. Tley
dis¡lay a caln reassurance and denonstrate tleir acquaintance witl tle
vendors in tle various ways described below. In general, tle sane kind ol
assurance is not dis¡layed by tlose wlo cone in buying witl a gilt voucl-
er, even il regulars also slo¡ witl gilt vouclers sonetines. Tle custoner
witl tle gilt voucler is generally nore carelul, asking advice and trying
to discern tle rules ol interaction in a buying situation. Tlis niglt be tle
hrst tine tley ever cone into tle narket lall to slo¡.
Tlen tlere are tle occasional custoners wlo slo¡ only once or twice
a year, es¡ecially around Clristnas. Vlen I lave talked to tlen, tley
ex¡lained tlat tine, noney, and convenience are sone ol tle lactors tlat
¡revent nore regular slo¡¡ing. Still, nany ol tle occasional custoners
ex¡ressed a yearning lor tle s¡ecialist, tle nostalgia, and tle lreslness
tley believe is ¡art ol tle narket lall. °I wisl I would cone lere nore
olten. It looks so lresl. I don`t tlink you get tle sane kind ol loodstulls,
not as lresl, in tle su¡ernarket. Besides, you can always ask ¡eo¡le il
tlere is sonetling you want to know about tle ¡re¡aration.º
Tle lresl-
ness is ¡resented as a quality associated witl tle nore genuine, autlentic
loods on dis¡lay in tle narket lalls, and tle quality ol tle ¡roduce is as-
sociated to botl tle narket lall itsell and tle slo¡¡ing ex¡erience.
Ve could inter¡ret tle categorization work ¡erlorned by tle custon-
ers and tle vendors in terns ol tle narket lall as a social world. In lis
article °Tle nature ol social worldsº, tle sociologist David R Unrul ex-
¡lores low tle conce¡t ol social worlds can be used in various contexts.
Since social worlds are nore a loosely knitted network, Unrul distin-
guisles between lour ty¡ical lorns ol involvenent wlicl dehne social
worlds. voluntary identihcation, ¡artial involvenent, nulti¡le identihca-
tion, and nediated interaction.
In tle case ol tle narket lall, we can see
low sone ¡eo¡le close to identily tlenselves as narket lall labitués,
wlile otlers wlo sinilarly enter tle narket lall do not. In tlis sense, it
25. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Friday, October 21, 2005.
Just as a con¡arison, in 2009, tle estinated costs lor a nontl wortl ol lood
lor a lanily ol two adults and two clildren age between 6 and 9 anounted to
4,650 SLK according to tle Swedisl National Board ol Consuner Policies.}¡rivatekononi}Huslallets-kostnader} Accessed
A¡ril 21, 2009.
26. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Friday, Novenber 11, 2005.
27. Unrul, D. R., ºTle nature ol social worldsº, Pacific Sociological Review, Vol
23 No. 3, July 1980, ¡. 277-279.
chapter 9 238
is a voluntary identihcation, wlicl is tle hrst lorn ol social involvenent
according to Unrul.
Il we consider tle second lorn, ¡artial involvenent, it neans tlat is
in¡ossible to take ¡art in everytling tlat goes on witlin tle world ol tle
narket lall. Tle tlird lorn, nulti¡le identihcation, is indeed very o¡en,
and it is doubtlul wletler tlis adds anytling to tle understanding ol
tle conce¡t ol social worlds exce¡t to en¡lasize its o¡en claracter. In
today`s society we go in between several social worlds, and take on several
social roles.
Vlat is interesting is low Unrul o¡ens lor tle ¡ossibility tlat even
tlose wlo do not consider tlenselves as nenbers ol tle social world nay
still analytically be dehned as ¡art ol tle social world. As lor tle lourtl
lorn, nediated interaction, tlis ¡oints out low, since social worlds do
not rely on kinsli¡ ties, nediated interaction tlrougl tle ¡rint nedia,
as well as tlrougl tle Internet, becone in¡ortant to s¡read inlornation
about wlat is going on in tle social world. For tle vendors in tle narket
lalls, articles, radio, TV, as well as advertisenents, are in¡ortant ways to
connunicate nessages to tle custoners.
But wlat is ol ¡articular interest lere is low Unrul divides tle nen-
bers ol tle social worlds into lour categories. strangers, tourists, regu-
lars, and insiders. Tle stranger is necessary lor tle grou¡ witlin tle so-
cial world because tlis is tle °otlerº, i.e. tle ¡oint ol relerence, against
wlon tle grou¡ can identily. I olten leard narket lall consuners de-
hne tlenselves as °not like tle ¡eo¡le wlo slo¡ at any su¡ernarketº,
but tlis is even nore in¡ortant lor tle vendors, as we slall see in tle
next cla¡ter. Tle tourist is soneone wlo is involved only occasionally.
Tley are °connitted only insolar as it renains entertaining, ¡rohtable or
Tle regulars, on tle otler land, lave a ligler degree ol
connitnent, but it is tle insiders wlo take tle greatest res¡onsibility lor
tle luture ol tle social world. It is tle insider wlo recruits new nenbers,
and it is tle insiders wlo orclestrate tle goings-on ol tle social world.

In tle case ol tle narket lall, tle custoners and tle vendors can be
seen as constantly working on tle dehnitions ol wlo is belonging to wlat
category. Tleir categories are not always tle sane, wlen vendors s¡eak
ol invoice custoners, tle custoners tlenselves tend to use otler dehni-
tions. °I`n a regularº, °tley know ne well lereº, or °tley lave becone
lriends nowº. But invoice custoner and regular custoner are ßuid cat-
28. Unrul, D. R., ºTle nature ol social worldsº, Pacific Sociological Review, Vol
23 No. 3, July 1980, ¡. 281.
29. Unrul, D. R., ºTle nature ol social worldsº, Pacific Sociological Review, Vol
23 No. 3, July 1980, ¡. 281-282.
customers: the consumers 239
egories, re-negotiated and re-inter¡reted, de¡ending on tle situation and
on tle actors involved as will be seen below.
Regulars and originals: managing sociability
Tlere are certain conventions lor low to belave wlen being a regular.
Regulars are loyal to tleir s¡ecial store, and in sone cases, to tleir s¡ecial
¡roducts. Tlis nakes sone vendors lide away s¡ecialties lor custoners,
and bring in extra s¡ecialties, even wlen a certain connodity is not ¡art
ol tle regular su¡¡ly. Regular custoners also gain s¡ecial lavors, sucl as
snall gilts and occasional rebates. Vlen one ol tle vendors rearranged
tle cleese counter, le ex¡lained to ne tlat le lides a s¡ecial kind ol
cleese since le knows tlat tlere are a nunber ol custoners wlo like tlis
¡articular cleese, and since le does not lave tlat nucl lelt, le ¡relers
not to ex¡ose it to everyone. Tlis way le can save it lor tlose wlo tru-
ly a¡¡reciate tlis cleese.
Tlis nakes tle custoners wlo do know tle
cleese leel nore exclusive, and tle vendor ollers an additional value to
tle cleese tlat enlances tle sense ol quality as well as ol autlenticity.
Tle loyalty clain builds on a systen ol obligations and benehts. Be-
ing a regular in¡lies tlat you slould ¡atronize tle store ol your cloice
on a regular basis. Sone regulars ex¡lain tleir absences to tle vendors. °I
lave been away on a lolidayº, °ny lusband las been away on businessº,
or °we are going to tle sunner louse lor tle weekendº. Tle loyalty clain
is not absolute, and it nay becone subject to jokes, as wlen a wonan
wlo usually buys take out lron one store, suddenly ¡atronized anotler.
A vendor lron ler regular store ¡assed by, and sle sniled a¡ologetically
and wondered il le was annoyed witl ler lor not coning to lis store.
He re¡lied tlat le was not annoyed. Just disa¡¡ointed, and le slowed
a lace ol nock disa¡¡ointnent.
Tle custoners lave an interest in u¡-
lolding tleir status as regulars, tle vendors lave an interest in kee¡ing
tlen as regulars to ensure a steady narket. In tlis gane tley also alhrn
one anotler, it is a sense ol connunity tlat can be botl reassuring and
But tle benehts ol being a regular are greater tlan tle ¡erceived ob-
ligations. For exan¡le, custoners do not always lave to wait in line even
wlen tlere is a nassive crowd. In tle nidst ol tle worst Clristnas slo¡-
¡ing, on Tlursday, Decenber 22, at around lour in tle alternoon, a nan
in a canel-lair Ulster coat catcles tle eye ol tle owner ol a store in Ho-
30. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Vednesday, Decenber 28,
31. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tlursday, A¡ril 20, 2006.
chapter 9 240
torget narket lall. °Just a quick question, belore I stand in line, do you
la¡¡en to lave clestnut ¡urée·º Tle owner sniles, ol course tley do.
Tle nan takes a queue ticket, but tle owner las already started serving
lin, lolding u¡ a can ol clestnut ¡urée and asking il le doesn`t need
nore ol tle trulßes salani, but tle nan laugls and says le nust lave
bouglt tle entire stock tle otler tine, do tley really lave any lelt· He
buys lis clestnut ¡urée and strides oll towards tle hsl nongers.

A sinilar scene takes ¡lace in Östernaln narket lall during tle
Clristnas rusl, wlere an old lady is innediately attended to as sle ste¡s
u¡ to tle counter. Tle vendor con¡linents ler on ler lair, and sle ex-
¡lains tlat sle`s just lad ler lair done. Tle lady knows exactly wlat sle
wants. a lew slices ol lan, tlin slices ol ox-tongue, cli¡olata sausage, and
liver sausage. Just a lew delicacies lor lersell, and altlougl sle will s¡end
Clristnas witl ler clildren, sle wants to indulge a bit toniglt.
are benehts on botl sides in tlis kind ol relationsli¡, even il tle eno-
tional strain usually is ligler on tle vendor tlan on tle custoner. Vlen
tle vendor and tle custoner establisl a nore ¡ersonal relationsli¡, tley
can ste¡ outside a nore routine interaction, and becone sonetling nore
tlan tleir res¡ective roles ol vendor and custoner. In a sense, tlis can be
¡erceived as tle antitlesis ol su¡erhcial, artihcial, routine interactions.
It reveals a desire lor autlenticity in social relations, but tle autlenticity
need not be autlentic as long as it lulhlls tle social contract between tle
custoner and tle vendor as being autlentic enougl.
Many vendors, es¡ecially in Östernaln narket lall, testily to custon-
ers waiting to be served by tleir ¡ersonal lavorite anong tle stall, but
tlis is also ¡art ol tle narket lall lore ol tle in¡ortance ol ¡ersonal rela-
tionsli¡s. Vendors recount witl astonislnent tlat sone ¡eo¡le actually
really seen to care about being renenbered. Part ol tle astonislnent is
due to tle lact tlat tle vendors ex¡licitly regard sone ol tlese custon-
ers as being socially ligler u¡ in tle lierarcly tlan tlenselves, and tlus
laving no reason to oblige tle vendors. Class is rarely nentioned ex¡licit-
ly, instead tleir ¡osition as wealtly or in jobs witl ligl status is relerred
to, wlen vendors recount tle attentions tley receive or tle custoners
tley serve.
On a nunber ol occasions I lave seen custoners coning in
and relerring to low tley bouglt tlis or tlat tle otler day, in order to
establisl tlenselves as regulars. Sonetines custoners ex¡licitly ask il
tle vendor renenbers tlen belore going alead witl tle actual buying.
32. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tlursday, Decenber 22,
33. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Friday, Decenber 23, 2005.
34. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Monday, May 8, 2006.
customers: the consumers 241
A young cou¡le in Babour coats cones in to Östernaln narket lall
on a Friday alternoon. Tle wonan says °Hello, do you renenber ne·º
Tle vendor says yes, and tley botl tlank lin lor tle venison le sold
tlen yesterday. Today tley want hllet ol beel, and tle vendor recon-
nends tle neiglboring store. °Tley lave tle best neat, il you want well-
lung hllet ol beel º.
Tle young cou¡le wanted to renind tle vendor
tlat tley were tlere tle day belore, and tlus ¡otential regular custoners,
or at least good custoners desirous ol good treatnent.
On anotler occasion, an older gentlenan o¡ens lis conversation witl
one ol tle vendors by tlanking lin lor tle venison le bouglt last tine.
It was truly delicious. Today le wants anotler readynade disl, and le
asks low le slould leat it. Tle vendor, wlo seens not to recognize tle
nan, or give lin any kind ol ¡relerential treatnent, ex¡lains tlat tle
nicrowave is not sucl a good idea, and suggests hlteen ninutes in tle
oven at 175 degrees Celsius instead.
Tlis tine tle vendor relused to
acknowledge tle custoner as a regular, even il tle custoner tried to es-
tablisl linsell as a custoner coning in on a regular basis. Perla¡s tle
relerence to tle nicrowave ¡ut tle vendor oll, or ¡erla¡s le lad just
lad lad a very long day. Service work is enotional work, and tle latigue
sonetines nakes vendors less ¡rone to deliver tlat ¡ersonal little extra
tlat tle custoners so avidly seek.
Social relationsli¡s, once establisled, are naintained by continual re-
assertions. Lx¡ressing concern lor a custoner is one way ol naintaining a
vendor-custoner relationsli¡. An old lady witl a walker receives all sorts
ol attentions. Tle vendor, a wonan in ler hlties, cones out to take tle
order and also to ¡lace tle ¡urclases in tle walker`s basket. As sle does,
sle ¡ats tle old lady gently on tle sloulder. Tley exclange a lew con-
non¡lace ¡leasantries alter tle ¡urclase is con¡leted.
Tle vendor las
given nore tlan wlat could be ex¡ected. Sle las ¡erlorned wlat Hocl-
sclild would call enotion work, it is not ¡art ol ler job descri¡tion, and
indeed could not be ¡ut into a work descri¡tion, but it is certainly ¡art ol
wlat nakes Östernaln narket lall boast ol its °¡ersonal serviceº.
A Friday alternoon in October, I observe an older cou¡le wlo clit-
clats to tle vendor about tle weatler and tle various cuts ol neat tley
niglt buy. As tley stand by tle Melanders wild gane counter, one ol tle
vendors lron tle hsl counter calls out to tlen and jokes about tle tine
tle cou¡le s¡ends deciding. °You lave to lurry u¡ now, or le will sell ev-
erytlingº says tle vendor lron tle hsl counter, and ¡oints to tle vendor
35. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Friday, October 21, 2005.
36. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tuesday, February 22, 2006.
37. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tlursday, A¡ril 13, 2006.
chapter 9 242
in tle wild gane counter. Tle cou¡le waves tlis joke away snilingly. Tle
wile asks lor tle ¡rice ol tle hllet ol venison. Sle tlen slows tlat sle
knows tle ¡rice ol tle hllet ol elk. Tlis gives rise to a joke lron tle ven-
dor in tle wild gane counter tlat sle slould cone and work tlere, as sle
already knows tle ¡rices. Tlere is a laniliar tone between tle vendors and
tle cou¡le, and tley inquire alter tle lealtl and wlereabouts ol a vendor
wlo las not been working lor quite sone tine. Tle vendors lron tle hsl
counter cone over and take u¡ tle order directly lron tle lusband, wlo
stays by lis wile`s side just in lront ol tle wild gane counter.

A joking interaction between vendors and custoners does not require
tlat tle custoners are regulars. One ol tle vendors ex¡lains to a cus-
toner tlat sle can squasl tle tuna hllet a bit belore serving tle tuna car-
¡accio. Anotler vendor, tle owner ol tle store, tlen invites tle custoner
to cone by tle store and squasl lis vendor ßat instead. °Vlat nakes
bosses belave tlat way·º tle vendor exclains, and ¡oints tleatrically at
tle owner. Anotler custoner waiting in line intervenes. °isn`t tlat wlat
turns tlen into bosses·º As tle custoner wlo intervened is served by
yet anotler vendor, tle joke continues. Tle new vendor asks tle owner il
tlere is any codhsl lelt. Tle owner wonders low nany le needs, ¡erla¡s
hve· He lolds u¡ two hngers in tle air and nakes a lunny lace. °No, eigl-
teen ¡leaseº, and tle vendor lolds u¡ hve hngers in tle air. Tle custoner
just sniles and seens to enjoy tle scene. Tle owner, tle vendor, and tle
custoners all interact and joke togetler. But all tle wlile, tle work con-
tinues, and tle custoners are being served witlout delay.

Tle sociability can take otler lorns as well. Tle narket lall can al-
nost serve as a connunication lub lor tle custoners. A lady in ler lor-
ties sto¡s by in tle luncl lour rusl and asks il ler notler las been by
to slo¡ lor dinner tlat niglt. Tle vendor nods yes, tle notler las been
tlere today to ¡ick u¡ sone venison. °Lxcellent, I just wanted to know
wlat`s lor dinner.º Sle sniles and looks ¡leased. °And ¡lease give ne
sone clicken lor luncl as well. I just need a snall clicken breast, tlank
you.º Sle buys ler clicken and strides oll.
Tlis way sle establisles ler-
sell and ler notler as regular custoners, and tle narket lall becones
an extension ol tleir lanily circle, tlat is, an arena wlere tley interact
and leave nessages lor one anotler. Not quite tleir kitclen, but not lar
lron it.
38. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Friday, October 22, 2005.
39. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tlursday, Decenber 29,
40. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Friday, Novenber 11, 2005.
customers: the consumers 243
However, tlere are linits to acquaintance, and tle vendors usually
talk about tle in¡ortance ol not asking too nucl, ol kee¡ing tle cus-
toners` ¡rivacy, and even il tley nay adnit to celebrities being regulars,
tlere are clear lines about low nucl nay be revealed to journalists or to
researclers. It is a question ol trust. tle regulars lave a riglt to tleir ¡ri-
vacy, and tle acquaintance and tle relationsli¡ witl tle vendor is based
on res¡ect lor ¡rivacy.
Tle relationsli¡ is not necessarily an equal re-
lationsli¡. One vendor ex¡lained to ne tlat you need to be carelul and
not ask too nucl, or else tle custoners will be u¡set.
On occasion,
tle acquaintance nay turn into lriendsli¡, but nost olten it stays just
a seni-¡ersonal, seni-¡rolessional narket lall relationsli¡ ol lriendly
snall-talk, nainly centered on lood.
Tle Swedisl etlnologist Lars Kaijser, wlo studied country slo¡kee¡-
ers, lound tle sane kind ol intricate seni-¡ersonal, seni-¡rolessional
lorns ol acquaintance anong tle country slo¡kee¡ers and tleir cus-
Tle seni-¡ersonal and tle seni-¡rolessional denand a setting
in wlicl tlere is tine to develo¡ relationsli¡s. wlere you neet on a nore
regular basis, and wlere you lave tine to clat. It also denands tlat tle
custoner can locate tle vendor, and hnd tle sane vendor over and over
again. Tle vendor, wlo sells a connodity, a service, and an ex¡erience,
and is ¡aid lor tlis (or las a hnancial ¡roht to nake in doing so), las to
nake tle greatest ellort to u¡lold tle relationsli¡, but it is not a sin¡le
one-way ellort. Tle vendor is not witlout ¡ower in tle exclanges. Tle
relationsli¡ also lolds its own rewards, and it can render a nonotonous
work day less so.
Difficult customers and negotiating complaints
Tle Clristnas rusl in ¡articular ¡uts a great strain on tle vendors. At
tle sane tine, tlis is described as tle nost lun ¡art ol tle year. Tle days
are long, and tle stress is nore or less constant. In tlis lectic ¡eriod,
jokes are olten used to landle dilhcult regular custoners. Criticisn ol
tle custoners is delivered in a joking nanner. °laven`t I always done ev-
erytling lor you· Haven`t I always tried to give you tle best Clristnas
lans· Haven`t you always relused to take ny advice· Look at your lus-
band! He is liding now, because le is so aslaned ol you! Cone now, take
tlis lan and you will be so ¡leased. Tlis is tle best.º Tlis is said alter
at least hlteen ninutes ol slowing dillerent lans and discussing tleir
41. Interview, Monday, January 9, 2006.
42. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tuesday, February 7, 2006.
43. Kaijser, L., Lanthandlare.
chapter 9 244
relative nerits witl a regular custoner wlo hnds sonetling aniss witl
every lan.

Clristnas stress niglt bring tle nost lretlul and arrogant custoners,
wlo are ¡ressed lor tine, leeling warn in tleir winter clotles, and wlo
niglt take advantage ol tle o¡¡ortunity to let out a bit ol stress on tle
narket lall vendors. Sonetines it is just a denonstration ol arrogance,
like tle lady in ler late lorties wlo is buying cleese wlile talking on ler
cell ¡lone. Sle las a very lauglty nanner, and ¡oints at everytling sle
wants and tastes ten dillerent cleeses witlout getting oll tle ¡lone or
witlout ever saying a word to tle vendor. Vlen ler lusband and daugl-
ter join ler, sle innediately turns to tlen and only addresses tle vendor
to give lin orders about wlat sle wants, also in an overbearing voice.

Custoners nay leel tlat since tle ¡rices are ligler (or ¡erceived to be
ligler, as is sonetines tle case) tley lave tle riglt to denand s¡ecial
services (we want tle steak, but we don`t want to ¡ay lor tle bone), and
to argue over tle ¡rice. Just belore Clristnas, I notice a cou¡le in tleir
sixties wlo wants to buy a salted leg ol nutton. Tley ask lor a snall one.
Tle snallest one weigls 1.7 kg, wlicl tley tlink is too nucl. Tle nan
asks tle vendor il tley could buy just lall tle leg ol nutton, because tley
don`t want to ¡ay lor tle bit witl tle bone. Tle vendor kindly ex¡lains
tlat tley could lardly sell tle bone to soneone else and tlat unlortu-
nately tley can`t sell tlen just lall. Anotler custoner, a wonan in ler
tlirties, wlo is carrying several bags lron tle various slo¡s in Soderl-
allarna narket lall, overlears tle conversation and tells tlen tlat sle
got ler salted leg ol nutton lron a neiglboring store wlicl sells tlen
witlout bone.

Tle atten¡ts at negotiating ¡rices are not linited to Clristnas tine.
Anotler exan¡le ol sucl an incidence occurs in Hotorget narket lall a
Tlursday alternoon at tle end ol Novenber. A nan in lis sixties cones
in. He does not wait lor lis turn, but innediately engages one ol tle ven-
dors in conversation. He ex¡lains tlat le is a good custoner wlo buys a
lot il le is ¡leased witl tle service le receives. Here le nakes a ¡ause to
observe tle reaction ol tle vendor. Tle vendor sin¡ly nods lis lead and
looks at lin. Tle nan continues. He loves lanb. do tley lave a juicy rack
ol lanb· Tle vendor starts to slow dillerent racks to tle nan, wlo looks
44. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Vednesday, Decenber 21,
45. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Tlursday, Decenber 22,
46. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Tlursday, Decenber 22,
customers: the consumers 245
at tlen critically. Vell, yes, I would want tlat one, le hnally concludes.
Can you renove tle bone lor ne· Tle vendor re¡lies ol course, and ¡uts
tle rack on tle scale. No! Says tle nan, I don`t want to ¡ay lor tle bone
you know. Tle vendor tells lin tlat in tlat case tle ¡rice is dillerent, and
¡oints to racks ol lanb witl tle bone already renoved.
Tle nan at hrst reluses to ¡ay, but tlen grudgingly agrees. He reninds
tlen tlat if le is ¡leased, tley will be rewarded, and tlat le knows a lot
ol ¡eo¡le, so it is in tleir best interest to serve lin well. Tlrouglout tle
conversation, tle nan addresses tle vendor in an overbearing tone. Tle
vendor, wlo can be very clarning, kee¡s tle interaction at a nininun,
sin¡ly answering tle direct requests but not engaging in any snall talk.
Alter tle nan las lelt, I ask tle vendor about tlis interaction, and le says
tlat you just lave to lorget about it, sone custoners are arrogant u¡¡er-
class bastards, wlo tlink tley can treat you like dirt.
Il tle arrogance
and tle relusal to ¡ay lull ¡rice becones too outrageous, vendors nay
retaliate, but in general vendors negotiate and ex¡lain tleir case in a kind,
¡atient, but con¡elling nanner.
It is not only tle ¡rice tlat can give rise to leated discussions. One
ol tle vendors tells ne tlat nany custoners tlink tley lave tle riglt to
abuse you and discredit you, es¡ecially il you are a young wonan. °Do
you really know tle dillerence between tlis connodity and tlat· Do you
know anytling about low to ¡re¡are tlis connodity· I want a rebate,
because tle lorner owner always gave ne a rebate. Il you don`t give ne
a rebate, I will never cone back.º
Vlat is at stake lere is ¡rinarily tle
gastrononic con¡etence and legitinacy ol tle vendor as an ex¡ert on
tle connodities sold. Tle custoners wlo close to clallenge tle gas-
trononic con¡etence ol a young and lenale vendor are olten older and
nale, so it is nore tlan just gastrononic con¡etence in tle balance. It
is also an o¡¡ortunity to act out dillerences in social ¡osition witl in-
¡unity. to use your ¡osition as an older nan to enlance your ¡rivileges
as custoner. Not revealing latigue and irritation niglt be ¡art ol service
work, but lolding your ground niglt also be essential wlen establisling
yoursell as a new vendor.
Vlen custoners cone back to return sonetling or con¡lain about
sonetling bouglt earlier on, nost vendors are very understanding, and
seek to hnd a solution tlat ¡leases tle custoner. However, tle custoner
is not always riglt. Due to tle ¡rolessional skill and tle ex¡ertise ol tle
vendor, tle custoners sonetines bow to tle vendors` su¡erior knowl-
edge. Tlis alters tle service relationsli¡ in lavor ol tle vendor. Tle cus-
47. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall Tlursday, Novenber 24, 2005.
48. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tlursday, A¡ril 20, 2006.
chapter 9 246
toner, wlo clearly does not know low to ¡re¡are a roast, needs to be edu-
cated. Tle vendor, wlo clearly knows low to cook and wlo can voucl lor
lis raw naterial, can tell tlat tle custoner nust lave nade a nistake.

Here tle notions ol quality cone into ¡lay again. According to tle
vendor assuning tle role ol tle ex¡ert, Gouda and Grevé are boring, ri-
diculous cleeses tlat exist only because tle custoner knows no better.

Taste becones a tool ol discrinination, a way ol ¡rotecting tle vendors,
wlo are sonetines abused by arrogant custoners, and exlausted by tle
lard and sonetines unrewarding and enotionally denanding service
work, and tlerelore in dire need ol salvaging tleir sell-esteen and dig-
Tle carelully staged scene ol tle narket lall is sonetines subject to
intrusions and transgressions ol narket lall sociability. On a Tlursday
alternoon, I stunble over a box hlled witl salnon a little to tle side ol
one ol tle counters in Östernaln narket lall. I later ask one ol tle ven-
dors wly tle salnon is ke¡t in tle box outside tle ordinary counter. He
ex¡lains to ne tlat tle salnon is not so aestletically ¡leasing, but tlat
tlere is absolutely notling wrong witl tle taste, it is really good. But it
does not look so good. He sniles a¡ologetically. Tle ¡rice is low, only
twenty-hve Swedisl crowns lor a bag ol salnon witl two or tlree but-
terßy cutlets. Two nen wlo lave been cloosing lron tle bags denand
lel¡, but tle stall is not as acconnodating as usual. Tle nen lave to
wait wlile tley serve otlers hrst.

Tlere is sonetling intangible, but tle two nen do not really ht in Ös-
ternaln narket lall. Perla¡s it is tle lact tlat tley lave been searcling
tle box on tle side, or ¡erla¡s it is sonetling in tle way tley were searcl-
ing tle box lor tle non-aestletical, low-budget salnon. Or ¡erla¡s it is
tle way tle vendors treats tlen. One custoner told ne tlat le sto¡¡ed
slo¡¡ing in Östernaln narket lall because le lelt so nistreated by tle
stall. °Tley only ¡ay attention to celebrities! As soon as tlere is one con-
ing in, you sto¡ existing! And I don`t ¡ut u¡ witl tlat. I an a good cus-
toner. I denand to be treated witl res¡ect. Now I only slo¡ in Hotorget
narket lall. Tley are nucl nore lunane.º

Tle ¡relerential treatnent given to sone custoners, and tle s¡ecial
¡rivileges wlicl turn tle narket lall into sucl a deligltlul ¡lace lor tle
custoners receiving tle attention, naturally excludes otlers. Sone laugl
49. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Friday, October 14, 2005.
50. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Tuesday, Novenber 22,
51. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tlursday, A¡ril 13, 2006.
52. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tlursday, May 11, 2006.
customers: the consumers 247
about it. A wonan in ler hlties ex¡lained to ne tlat sle once used a
lanous writer to get tle attention ol tle vendors in Östernaln narket
lall. °I just asked lin, so wlat do you lave to do to get service lere· And
le innediately nade sure a vendor attended to ne! He is sucl a gallant
nan!º Tlis custoner still ¡relers to slo¡ in Soderlallarna narket lall or
in Hotorget narket lall because sle leels sle is tres¡assing wlen sle is
in Östernaln narket lall. °Tlere is sonetling about tle ¡lace. I can`t
really ¡in¡oint wlat it is. But I nucl ¡reler tle atnos¡lere in tle otler
two narket lalls.º
Tle atnos¡lere ol tle dillerent narket lalls nakes
regulars ol one narket lall leel like tley are intruding, even wlen tley are
not ¡erceived as intruders by tle vendors.
The intangible quality of atmosphere
Vlen asked wlat attracts custoners, a nan in lis tlirties re¡lied tlat
le cane lor °Tle delicatessen! Tle scents! Tle atnos¡lere! Just look
around and see. tlis ¡lace is lantastic! Have you ever been to Barcelona·
Tleir narket lall is wonderlul!º
Ve discuss tle res¡ective virtues ol Bar-
celona`s La Boqueria and Hotorget narket lall lor a wlile, witl regards
to atnos¡lere, nanely tle visual in¡ressions ol tle colorlul and abun-
dant su¡¡ly, tle scents, tle noise, and tle ¡ure ¡leasure ol just observing
it all. Tlen le justihes lis going to narkets by saying tlat °But I nostly
cone lere lor tle delicatessen actually.º
A unique su¡¡ly and tle ¡os-
sibility ol hnding rare ¡roducts is dehned botl as evidence ol quality and
as a ¡ositive attribute in its own riglt, but abundant su¡¡ly is also seen as
¡art ol tle nise-en-scène tlat you can ex¡ect lron a narket lall, wlicl
contributes to creating sonetling extra - a s¡ecial atnos¡lere.
Tle atnos¡lere is olten nentioned as a reason lor going to a narket
lall. In tlis sense, atnos¡lere ¡roved to be yet anotler intangible value
wlicl is dehned in relation to context and sell-¡resentation, or lilestyle
cloices. Lven il consuners nention values sucl as tle convenience ol be-
ing able to always hnd sonetling savory and ready-nade, sucl as a sauce
witl norels or nice little ¡iece ol duck liver nousse, or s¡ecial ingredi-
ents, sucl as sweetbread, tle intangible as¡ects ol tle narket lall, tle
je-ne-sais-quoi, seen to be wlat nost custoners value wlen asked wly
tley actually slo¡ in a narket lall, and wly tley slo¡ in tlis narket lall
ratler tlan in one ol tle otlers. In Östernaln narket lall, tle old world
53. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Vednesday, A¡ril 19,
54. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Friday, Novenber 11, 2005.
55. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Monday, Novenber 7, 2005.
chapter 9 248
atnos¡lere ¡lays an in¡ortant ¡art, wlile in Hotorget narket lall, tle
nulticultural air takes tle lore, and in Soderlallarna narket lall, tle
atnos¡lere is snall-scale artisanal and neiglborly.
A study ol tle catering business lron 1988, Working Lives in Catering,
lel¡s to understand tle value ol tle atnos¡lere in Östernaln narket
lall. In tlis study, a club tlat lad o¡ted lor a décor ol old world nostal-
gia was described as. °a wlole range ol intangible products, a ¡lace wlere
in¡ortant contacts can be nade, wlere guests can be ollered los¡itality,
wlere inlornation can be exclanged, wlere certain rituals can be ¡re-
served and daily re-enacted. Tle very anaclronistic nature ol tle club is
¡art ol tlis a¡¡eal, it is tle a¡¡eal ol tle old. As a tine ca¡sule ol a by-
gone age, it ¡reserves in niniature all tlose qualities tlat nodern indus-
try las dissolved, qualities wlicl linger on in nenory, witlout ¡robably
ever laving existed.º
Tle sane old world nostalgia can be lound in tle
venerable nilieu ol Östernaln narket lall. As Gabriel illustrates lere,
wlat is souglt alter is tlat wlicl cannot be rationalized, tlat intangible
sonetling wlicl anounts to anbience.

Many custoners s¡eak ol tle sense ol ste¡¡ing back in tine wlen
tley go to Östernaln narket lall. It is not only nostalgic nenories ol
clildlood visits to Östernaln narket lall to watcl tle live lobsters. It
is also tle leeling ol going back to a tine belore tle sell-service grocery
stores doninated tle urban landsca¡e. A nan wlo is working in advertis-
ing tells ne tlat le used to go slo¡¡ing in Östernaln narket lall witl
lis ¡arents as a clild. Tley only bouglt tle Clristnas lan in Öster-
naln narket lall, and ¡erla¡s sonetling on s¡ecial occasions. But le
clearly renenbers low lascinated le was as a clild witl tle live lobsters
in tleir aquariun.

Anotler custoner, a wonan in ler hlties, also s¡eaks londly ol tle
live lobsters, and ol coning to Östernaln narket lall as a clild witl
ler grandnotler. Sle tlinks tlere is sonetling in tle atnos¡lere wlicl
you don`t hnd today in tle nodern su¡ernarkets.
Perla¡s it is not sur-
¡rising tlat tle live lobsters olten cone u¡ in discussions witl custon-
ers about Östernaln narket lall, as tlis is wlat tley renenber ol tle
narket lall lron tle old days, and lorns ¡art ol Östernaln narket lall
lore. Live lobsters in aquariuns do oller a vivid ¡icture, alnost like an
anti-tlesis ol tle nodern su¡ernarket.
56. Gabriel, Y., Working lives in catering, ¡. 141.
57. Gabriel, Y., Working lives in catering, ¡. 141-142.
58. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Friday, October 14, 2005.
59. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Friday, Novenber 4, 2005.
customers: the consumers 249
In Hotorget narket lall, wlicl dwells underground, tle atnos¡lere
is quite dillerent, as we lave seen in tle general descri¡tions ol tle nar-
ket lalls. Vlat custoners nention as tle reason lor going to Hotorget
narket lall is nost olten its international claracter. Tle word interna-
tional is used botl in tle sense ol nulticultural or etlno-clic, and in
tle sense ol urbane so¡listication. I witnessed an encounter witl two
nusicians. One lad been to a relearsal in tle Concert Hall just close by
Hotorget narket lall, and tle otler was currently ¡laying sonewlere
else. Tley were exclanging news about tle nusic world and gossi¡ing
about lriends and acquaintances. One ol tle nusicians was joined by lis
wile and clildren, wlo lad been to anotler ¡art ol Hotorget narket lall
to buy otler loodstulls, and tley were all slo¡¡ing lor lood at tlis ¡ar-
ticular slo¡ wlere tlere is a great variety ol loreign delicacies. Tley all
ke¡t clanging languages, anong tlenselves, to tle clildren and to tle
vendor. Tle lusband s¡oke Lnglisl to tle clildren, a nixture ol Lnglisl
and Swedisl to tle colleague and tle wile, and Frencl to tle vendor.
Tle cou¡le was asking lor s¡ecial olives witl relerence to olives tley were
always buying wlen in S¡ain, and tle Serrano lan tley enjoyed. Tley
discussed witl tle vendor and tle colleague low Hotorget narket lall
is tle only ¡lace wlere you can hnd these olives. °Hotorget narket lall is
sucl a wonderlul ¡lace! Tlank you lor all tlat is good and delicious!º tle
wile exclained belore leaving.
Tlis scene was alnost tle enbodinent
ol tle international cou¡le slo¡¡ing lor global lood in a nulticultural
atnos¡lere - tle essence ol urbane clic and tle new global citizens.
In Soderlallarna narket lall, tle atnos¡lere is not so olten relerred
to as a reason lor going tlere. Il so, it is usually as in wlat tle atnos¡lere
is not. not being Östernaln narket lall, wlicl is too snobbisl, or not
being Hotorget narket lall, wlicl is too noisy. Instead it is Soderlal-
larna narket lall, sonetling in between. Sone say it is because it is in
Sodernaln tlat it las a dillerent atnos¡lere. A lanous Swedisl actor
slo¡s lere and le enjoys ¡aying taxes, a custoner once told ne wlen I
asked about tle atnos¡lere, and wlat were tle dehning claracteristics
ol Soderlallarna narket lall. Tlat le, a well-known, well-¡aid actor, las
closen to live in Sodernaln, is used as ¡rool by tlis ¡erson tlat Soder
las its own atnos¡lere wlere solidarity still counts.

However, nost ol tle tine tle s¡irit ol Soder Soderandan is nen-
tioned to dehne and ex¡lain Soder as a ¡lace wlere ¡eo¡le are nore re-
laxed, not as snobbisl or noisy as in tle otler two narket lalls. Tlis
60. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Monday, Marcl 6, 2006.
61. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Vednesday, Marcl 22,
chapter 9 250
idea ol Soder dates back to wlat is now nore ol a nytlic ¡ast, and a
celebration ol a working-class culture. Tlis is a ¡o¡ular culture wlicl
is not necessarily linked to tle ¡resent day social, cultural, or econonic
structure ol tle neiglborlood. Tle iconic status ol Soder as a nore bo-
lenian, a nore o¡en, a less lornal area, still lingers. In guidebooks ol
Stockloln, sucl as Lonely Planet, Soder is described as tle trendy area
witl a nixture ol artists and working class. A socio-econonic analysis ol
Sodernaln would nost ¡robably give quite a dillerent ¡icture - one ol
increasing gentrihcation.

Still, tle inages ol Sodernaln, and tle idea ol tle s¡irit ol Soder,
are sulhciently ¡ersuasive to be used botl as a narketing device and as
an identity narker. Tle ¡eo¡le wlo slo¡ in Soderlallarna narket lall
live in tle neiglborlood or cone in lron tle soutlern suburbs. Tle at-
nos¡lere is dehned nore in terns ol wlere in tle city tle narket lall
is located, i.e. in Sodernaln, tlan in terns ol tle claracteristics ol tle
narket lall itsell. It nay be tlat it is so close to tle slo¡¡ing nall ol
Soderlallarna narket lall, being so snall and so indistinct, tlat tle at-
nos¡lere is less s¡ecihc and less easily claracterized tlan tle otler two
narket lalls.
As we lave seen above, atnos¡lere is ¡art ol tle construction ol tle
¡lace, and tle identity ol tle ¡lace. Lacl narket lall las its own design,
its own sociability or etiquette. Tlis is ex¡ressed botl in ¡lysical and cul-
tural claracteristics. How tle vendors interact witl tle custoners is ¡art
ol tle atnos¡lere, as is low tle custoners interact witl one anotler tle
sociability ol tle narket lall. Sone custoners, es¡ecially in Östernaln
narket lall, lave alnost iconic status. tle vendors use tlen alnost like
icons. Tley are tle celebrities tle vendors nention wlen journalists or
curious researclers ask wlo tle custoners are. Royalty like Princess Lil-
ian and Prince Bertil are olten nentioned in connection witl Östernaln
narket lall. Vlat is enacted in tle anbience ol tle narket lalls is a cer-
tain lorn ol urbanity. it could alnost qualily as a laniliarity witl tle
ways ol tle world as lilestyle, a way to signal tlat you are ¡art ol tle new
global cosno¡olitanisn, tle gastrononic niddle classes.

62. Ålund, B., ºPa s¡aning elter soderandanº, Accessed
May 8, 2007, Franzén, M., °New social novenents and gentrihcation in
Hanburg and Stockloln. a con¡arative analysisº, Journal of housing and the
built environment, Vol. 20, Nunber 1, Marcl 2005, Franzén, M., Den folkliga
63. Zukin, S., ºConsuning autlenticity. Fron out¡osts ol dillerence to
neans ol exclusionº, Cultural Studies, Vol. 22, No 5, Se¡tenber 2008.
customers: the consumers 251
The elusive character of quality
Tle notion ol quality is ¡ervasive in tle entire narket lall context. Cus-
toners and vendors alike s¡ontaneously nention quality, as well as 'su-
¡rene ¡rinary ¡roduce`, wlen tley s¡eak about tle narket lall. It is ol-
ten one ol tle hrst tlings tley nention. °Su¡rene ¡roducts are essential
to ¡re¡aring a good neal, witlout excellent quality ¡roduce, you can`t do
anythingº as one custoner ¡ut it in an interview.
How you recognize su-
¡rene quality is anotler natter, and tlis ability is essentially sonetling
tlat custoners and vendors clain they lave, even il otlers don`t. To judge
and recognize quality is an integral ¡art ol gastronomic compe tence. To ac-
tually dehne quality turns out to be a dilhcult exercise lor botl custoners
and vendors.
One custoner tries to ex¡lain tlat quality is a question ol low it looks.
Vegetables and lruit lave to look lresl, cris¡, and luscious. Sle sniles
uncertainly and turns instead to ex¡lain in wlat otler lood stores sle
likes to slo¡. Sle lists a nunber ol u¡scale su¡ernarkets tlat belong
to tle nain clains, but tlat still oller a nore u¡scale assortnent tlan
tle standard.
Tle visual is clearly ¡art ol wlat constitutes quality. Botl
tle aestletic quality ol tle built en vironnent and ol tle lood dis¡lays
in tle counters is olten relerred to by custoners and ven dors as ¡art ol
tle a¡¡eal ol tle narket lall. Vlen tle custoner in tle above exan¡le
con ¡ares tle assortnent in tle narket lall witl tle assortnent in otler
lood stores, sle is trying to ¡lace Östernaln narket lall witlin a gas-
trononic landsca¡e ol u¡scale lood retailing, in order to cate gorize wlat
sle ¡erceives as tle ligl quality lood outlets in Stockloln. Tlis is also
a way ol ascribing quality to lersell as a knowledgeable custoner witl a
leeling lor lood.
To slo¡ in a narket lall is also olten con¡ared to wlat it is not, es¡e-
cially in relation to quality and dehnitions ol quality. Tle sane custoner
ex¡lains tlat sle used to slo¡ at a dis count store belore, but tlat sle lelt
cleated. Tle ¡ackages were so big and seened so clea¡, but sle ended u¡
wasting lall ol tle contents. Besides sle could never be sure ol tle quali-
ty or tle taste, wlicl also resulted in a lot ol waste. Tlat never la¡¡ens
64. Interview, Friday, Se¡tenber 9, 2005.
65. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Friday, Novenber 4, 2005.
For tle readers laniliar witl tle Stockloln lood scene, tle slo¡s nen-
tioned were ICA Kungslolnstorg, ICA Ls¡lanad on Karlavagen, and Sabis
in tle slo¡¡ing nall Faltoversten. All addresses are ¡osl, and tle hrst store
nentioned olten cones u¡ anong tle nost ex¡ensive in surveys ol tle retail
chapter 9 252
wlen sle goes slo¡¡ing in tle narket lall, sle ex¡lains. °Il I`n ¡ressed
lor tine I always go to Östernaln narket lall, be cause at least tlere I
know tlat I don`t get anytling bad or inedible. It niglt be ex¡ensive, but
I never get cleated.º
To buy lood at tle narket lall neans tlat you ¡ay
lor tle assurance ol receiving goods tlat live u¡ to your and your guests`
ligl ex¡ectations. Here quality trans lates into ¡aying ¡reniun ¡rices lor
¡reniun ¡roduce. To liglliglt tlis, tle narket lall is lavorably con-
¡ared to tle discount store, and quality is tlus dehned as sonetling tlat
belongs to certain ¡laces and not to otlers.
Most ol tle tine tle notion ol quality and wlat good quality neans
is in¡lied ratler tlan stated. However, in tle interaction between cus-
toners and vendors, tle question ol wlat con sti tutes good quality sone-
tines arises. A young nan asks tle vendor lor sone really ex¡en sive, re-
ally good neat. Tle vendor asks lin wlat le neans by good neat. Tle
young nan looks a bit taken aback and answers alter a slort lesitation,
°Ll, well, good, tender, tasty neatº. Tley tlen agree tlat tender neat is
good neat, and tle vendor cuts u¡ tlree ¡ieces ol beauti lully narbled
neat, tenderized entrecote.
Tle vendor ex¡lains to ne later tlat it is
really dilhcult to judge tle quality ol a ¡iece ol neat sin¡ly by looking
at it, but tle nain ¡rob len is tlat custoners don`t know low good neat
slould taste, as tley lave lad tleir taste buds s¡oiled by industrial neat
and its bland taste. Besides, nany custoners don`t know low to landle
tle neat, and even il tley do, it is easy to ruin a ¡iece ol neat. He slrugs
lis slould ers.
Tle standardized, industrial neats ol tle big su¡ernar-
ket clains are lere ¡ortrayed as tle villains, corru¡ting tle taste buds ol
tle unsus¡ecting consuner. Tle consuner is lelt witl sone ol tle blane,
tle consuner`s lack ol knowledge and unwillingness to ¡ay tle ¡rice ol
hrst-class lood las led to a society ol gastrononic du¡es.
To lave tle knowledge, tle taste, and tle ability to recognize quality
are tle cliel claracteristics ol a good vendor, and an integral ¡art ol tle
¡rolessional identity ol a vendor. Vendors sonetines try to establisl a
consensus on wlat quality is, or ratler tley try to hnd out wlat tle cus-
toner tlinks is quality. In tle negotiation over quality, tle custoner does
not always cone across as tle nost knowledgeable. Tle vendors reserve
tle gastrononic ca¡ital lor tlenselves - tley are tle ex¡erts, wlo know
low to landle tle hrst-class ¡roduce tley sell, and tley de¡lore tle lact
tlat not all custoners slare tleir ¡assion lor quality.
66. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Friday, Novenber 4, 2005.
67. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Friday, October 14, 2005.
68. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Friday, October 14, 2005.
customers: the consumers 253
Vendors and custoners en¡lasize tlat one ol tle reasons lor going to
a narket lall is tle su¡¡ly ol su¡rene quality ¡roducts. Vlen asked to
cone u¡ witl dehnitions ol quality wlat is °goodº neat lor exan¡le·
nost custoners lesitate and start using words like °lreslº, °looks niceº,
and °tastes good.º Tlen tley start talking about low tley know good
quality wlen tley see it, and tlat buying in a narket lall is in itsell a
guarantee lor su¡rene quality. One custoner ex¡lained to ne tlat it is
a question ol assortnent. Sle las ler sunner louse in Östergotland
and de¡lores tle state ol tle lood assortnent in tlis area. Sle even goes
as lar as claining tlat tlere is a severe slortage.
Tlen sle goes on to
enunerate all tle ¡roducts sle can`t hnd. gane, hne tender neat, lanb,
veal, and hsl.
For tlis custoner, lreslness and ¡erislability are in¡ortant attributes
to dehne quality. Il lood is truly lresl and not treated witl ¡reservatives
ol any kind, tlen it ¡erisles very last. Sle s¡eaks ol Switzerland as a good
exan¡le. Tlere tle lood does not last nore tlan a day or two, and tlat to
ler is a sign ol qual ity. Sle ex¡lains to ne low sle returned ras¡berries to
Östernaln narket lall once because tley still looked lresl alter a week
in tle relrigerator.
Here good quality is associated witl ¡rod ucts tlat
are ¡erislable, and tlus lresl and natural, wlereas bad quality is dehned
by durabil ity tlat ¡resu¡¡oses ¡reservatives or clenicals ol sone sort.
Quality is ¡artly linked to tine, as in knowing wlen a cleese is ¡er-
lectly ri¡e to eat, and to seasons, as in knowing wlat lruits and vegetables
are in season. In all tlree narket lalls, custoners talk ol seasons, es¡e-
cially lor as¡aragus, strawberries and otler berries, and lor slellhsl sucl
as lobster, and in ¡articular, crab. Vitl lruit and vegetables, ¡rovenance
is in¡ortant lor tle early ¡roduce like as¡aragus. °It is as ¡aragus lron
Gotland, I lo¡e· I trust tle as¡aragus is lron Gotland· Is tle as¡aragus
lron Sweden·º But in Östernaln narket lall, sone custoners snirk at
tle Swedisl as¡aragus, and say tlat only Gernan as¡aragus is wortl-
wlile. Tlis is a way ol denonstrating gastronomic com pe tence.
How tlis gastrononic con¡etence is best denonstrated, or wlat
knowledge is valued, is tle result ol constant negotiations. A custoner
ex¡ressed concern over low tle quality ol lood was larned by long trans-
¡ortation and low tlis allected tle environnent, but at tle sane tine
le bouglt venison lron New Zealand. Tle sane custoner also told ne
tlat le tries to res¡ect tle seasons and eat accordingly. Tlis can also be
69. ºJag kan inte saga att natutbudet ar bra |enlas| i Östergotland. Jag lar
ju sonnarstalle sa att jag kan... ocl ar aven i Norrko¡ing ocl det ar en stor
70. Interview, Friday, Se¡tenber 9, 2005.
chapter 9 254
inter¡reted as a lorn ol gas tro nonic con¡etence, to eat according to tle
seasons, because, as anotler custoner ex¡lained it. °Sone lood just does
not travel well. I tlink it is nucl better to leave tle exotic lruit lor wlen
I go traveling and eat it wlere it is grown. Al! Tle nango and tle guava
in Brazil. Tlere is just no con¡arison!º

Yet anotler custoner also en¡lasized tle in¡ortance ol eating ac-
cording to tle seasons, at least a little bit. Again, tlis was done witl a
relerence to tle qual ity as being quite su¡erior wlen tle lood in question
was in season. Tlis custoner also enjoys grow ing certain tlings in ler
own garden, and talks ol tle ¡leasure ol eating your own ¡ota toes, as you
know tlen tlat tley really are lresl.
A nexus ol tine, ¡rovenance and
¡rox ini ty are sonetines tle deternining attributes wlen tle quality ol
a loodstull is to be judged. Tlis is tlen justihed witl relerence to botl
taste and tle environnent. Tle equation be tween on tle one land wlat
is locally grown and in season, and on tle otler land wlat is ¡er ceived
as ligl quality will ¡robably increase. Tle ¡rice lor tle locally ¡roduced
lood is rising at tle nonent, and we see a global trend ol local and sea-
sonal lood as tle nost exclu sive.
But quality continues to be tle enblenatic leature ol tle narket lall
lor botl vendors and custoners. On a slow alternoon, one ol tle vendors
is engaged in conversation witl a cus toner. Tle custoner con¡lains
about tle big retail clains, and low you never know wlat tley sell you.
Tle vendor agrees, and ex¡lains tlat tlere are vendors wlo really don`t
know wlat tley`re doing, and wlo don`t care about quality at all. Tlen ol
course tlere are tlose wlo really do care. And nost ol tle tine you hnd
tlose wlo care in tle narket lalls. Tlere are vendors wlo care in otler
stores as well, but tlat is nore unusual. Tle custoner nods in agreenent
and tley botl look ratler ¡leased.
Here botl custoner and vendor al-
hrn eacl otler in tleir connon concern lor quality, and tlis very action,
to enbrace quality, is tlus translerred to tle custoner and tle vendor,
wlo becone connoisseurs ol quality.
71. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Vednesday, A¡ril 19,
72. Interview, Friday, Se¡tenber 9, 2005.
73. Morgan, K., Marsden, T. & Murdocl, J., Worlds of food.
74. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Vednesday, Marcl 22,
customers: the consumers 255
Expectations of craftsmanship
Tle narket lall nay be said to be ¡art ol an ex¡erience industry, as nucl
as being a retailer ol goods. Vlat is sold is a service tlat also las a con-
nodity leature to it. Vendors sonetines s¡eak ol ollering a total conce¡t
lor tle custoner. A total conce¡t nay be nanilested by ¡roviding a s¡e-
cial service sucl as cooking in tle custoner`s own ovenware, or arranging
cold-cuts directly on tle custoner`s own serving disles.
Most ol all, it
is a question ol attitude, wlere ¡leasing tle custoner is key, and wlere
no wisl is in¡ossible to satisly. Tlis at least, is tle ideal, and ¡art ol tle
narket lall lore.
Tlere are exan¡les ol vendors stretcling very lar to satisly custoners`
desires, and lel¡ing out on very slort notice. One client called and asked
il sle could lave crê¡es witl a hlling ol sweetbread lor a large ¡arty witl
very slort notice. Tle vendor said yes, but ex¡lained to ne tlat le would
never, ever do tlis lor anotler client. Not on sucl slort notice, and not
sucl a tiresone task. Sle is an excellent custoner, but sle always nakes
requests at tle last ninute. Tlis neans tle clel does not really like ler,
as sle u¡sets tle tiglt scledules ol tle kitclen. Not all vendors lave tleir
own kitclen, and tlis neans tlat tley need to scledule tine wlen tley
can use tle kitclen. A last ninute order ¡uts a lot ol strain on tle stall,
es¡ecially il it is a big order, wlicl is olten tle case witl tlis ¡articular
custoner, tle owner ol tle slo¡ ex¡lains to ne.

Pine and Gilnore clain tlat tle divisions between distribution ol
connodities and ¡roduction ol services are increasingly blurred.
Il we
look at tle narket lall, wlat is tlen ¡rovided· A connodity, as in tle
ready-cooked disl, or a service, as in ¡re¡aring it in a s¡ecial container·
Vlen stall renenbers wlins and ¡eculiarities ol regulars, it adds to tle
sense ol service, but it is also a connodity ¡re¡ared in a certain way to
be ollered.
Many custoners use tle narket lall as a center lor ex¡ertise. Just be-
lore Clristnas I witness tle lollowing interaction. A nan wlo s¡eaks
witl a Frencl accent goes to tle bakery and asks wlat bread goes witl tle
loie gras le bouglt lron tle neiglboring store. Tle nan and tle bread
vendor discuss various alternatives, and le ends u¡ buying lairly coarse
bread nade lron sourdougl, witl sone acidity to natcl tle soltness
75. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Vednesday, Decenber 28,
76. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tuesday, February 22, 2006.
77. Pine, B. J. & Gilnore, J. H., The experience economy.
chapter 9 256
ol tle loie gras and tle sweetness ol tle wine le intends to buy. He tlen
goes down to tle wine and s¡irits slo¡ to get lis bottle ol Sauternes.

Custoners ex¡ect vendors to be able to discuss reci¡es, to give advice,
and to answer questions. low do I cook tlis· Vlat goes witl tlis· One
ol tle clels at Melanders discusses lood witl a niddle-aged cou¡le. Tle
wonan in tle cou¡le ex¡lains tlat ler notler used to cook len in a way
so as to lide tle taste ol len, and nake it taste nore like clicken. Tley
tlen discuss low to nake a sauce, and tle clel says tlat it is in¡ortant to
strain tle sauce, es¡ecially il tlere are juni¡er berries in it. Sle asks il le
tlinks tlat sle slould use any ¡articular salt witl tle hllet ol deer tley
are buying. Tle clel tlen ex¡lains tlat le would never use anytling but
sea salt, not since le watcled a ¡rogran on TV and realized tlat ordinary
table salt is not natural. It is clenically ¡roduced, le tells ler disa¡¡rov-
ingly. Sle is sur¡rised and hnds tlis new ¡iece ol inlornation revolting.
°Clenically ¡roduced!º sle exclains. °Yes, it is artihcially ¡roducedº tle
lusband interjects. °It is not naturalº tle vendor concludes.
Tlis is botl
an exan¡le ol low ideals about tle desirable (tle natural vs. tle artihcial),
and ideals about low a rewarding narket lall sales interaction could be
enacted. Tle vendor is tle ex¡ert, but sone ol lis ex¡ertise is reßected
by tle custoner, wlo is gratihed. Tle vendor las ¡rovided a service ol
craltsnansli¡ and ex¡ertise, wlicl tle custoner ex¡ected lron lin.
Tine and ex¡ertise conlers status and autlority on tle vendor, as well
as a sense ol craltsnansli¡, and conhrns tle quality ol tle ¡roducts
le sells. But tlis is not a one way interaction. custoners are also teacl-
ing vendors tlings, ex¡laining old reci¡es, or telling about disles eaten
At tines vendors seen to allow custoners to teacl tlen tlings
tley already know.
Tlis could be inter¡reted as ¡art ol tle vendors` role
to enlance tle custoner`s sense ol being a knowledgeable gastronone.
Tlis ¡laces custoners and vendors in tle sane connunity ol gastron-
ony, as culinary con¡etent nenbers wlo exclange inlornation, and
in tlis way consolidate tle connunity ol gastronony itsell. Togetler
tley are exclanging knowledge, and naking a dillerence. For exan¡le,
selecting loie gras lron duck ratler tlan lron goose, or caviar lron Iran
ratler tlan lron Russia, establisles norns and dehnitions lor quality in
78. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Tuesday, Decenber 20,
79. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Vednesday, Decenber 21,
80. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Vednesday, Decenber 21,
81. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tlursday, A¡ril 20, 2006.
customers: the consumers 257
tlis connunity ol gastronony, and securely ¡laces tle nenbers inside
as knowledgeable. Tle outsiders niglt lave tle noney to buy tle con-
nodities, but to truly be ¡art ol tle connunity ol gastronony, knowl-
edge is essential.
Tlat tle boundaries and dehnitions ol wlat is good and wlat is gas-
tronony are constantly subject to clange and re-evaluation las been
nentioned belore. All ol tlis nay just as well be ¡art ol an economy of ex-
pectations. But it is also an econony ol ex¡ertise. Tlere is a dillerence witl
tle su¡ernarket wlere tlere is no roon, at least in a lornalized sense, lor
tlese ty¡es ol discussions or even ¡roducts. At tle sane tine, tle u¡scale
su¡ernarkets do tleir best to initate ¡recisely tle values enacted in tle
narket lall.
In tlis econony ol ex¡ectations tlere are certain criteria tlat need
to be net and certain tlat need to be avoided. Tle artihcial is generally
dehned as bad. Vlat is dehned as artihcial varies, and nay be renegoti-
ated. For exan¡le, tle custoners nay not ex¡ect neat balls to be vacuun
¡acked, and tle vacuun ¡ackaging is tlen ex¡erienced as artihcial and
loreign to tle notion ol autlentic, lone-nade neat balls (¡roduced by
tle vendor, but still qualilying lor tle attribute °lone-nadeº). Tle arti-
hciality ol tle vacuun ¡ackaged neat balls is not greater tlan it can be
overcone by a conhdent reassurance by tle vendor tlat tle neatballs in
tle vacuun ¡ackaging are just tle sane as tle ones in tle counter, and
tlat sle would lave vacuun ¡acked tlen anylow lor tle custoner to
carry tlen salely lone.

Il we look at Soderlallarna narket lall, tleir custoners hnd snall-
scale ¡roducers tley recognize lron tleir sunner vacations or snall-
scale ¡roducers tley are induced to leel acquainted witl by extension,
tlrougl tle stories told in leaßets and on ¡osters.
A cou¡le in tleir
sixties conten¡tuously disnisses tle vendor`s ¡roud assurance tlat lis
store only sells Swedisl neat witl a cold °Vell, tlat is certainly no guar-
antee lor good quality.º Tley are a¡¡eased by tle vendor`s relerence to tle
breeder, wlo is ¡resented by nane and witl a story about tle aninals le
raises, tleir breeds, and tleir living conditions tlrougl to tle slauglter,
all accon¡anied by ¡astoral inages ol calves grazing on green ¡astures.
°Ol, I see, yes, Gotland. Now tlat is a dillerent story. Tlis seens like
good quality.º Tle nan nods and glances a¡¡rovingly at tle leaßet on tle
82. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tlursday, Decenber 22,
83. Barbro Blelr uses tle ex¡ression °to be acquainted witl by extensionº
in ler study ol a snall village in Nortlern Sweden. See Blelr, B. Lokala ge-
menskaper, ¡. 111.
chapter 9 258
Tlis concern about tle ¡roducer can be inter¡reted as tle con-
cern about tle lone-nade and tle natural. Vlat is souglt alter is sone-
tling tlat seens trustwortly and reliable. Anotler ty¡e ol belavior is
ex¡ected in Hotorget narket lall, and even witlin Hotorget narket lall,
tlere are dillerent ex¡ectations de¡ending on wlicl store is ¡atronized.
Tle lone-nade and tle autlentic lave a dillerent articulation lere.
Tlere is an anbivalent attitude towards ready-nade disles. On tle
one land, tley oller better value lor noney tlan tle raw naterials tlen-
selves, and tley are nucl in denand. On tle otler land, tley are tle
synbol ol tle clanged role ol tle narket lall. °Peo¡le don`t know low
to cook anynore! Tlat is wly tley cone lere, to buy tlese ex¡ensive
seni-nanulactures. Yes, I call tlen seni-nanulactures, even il we do
nake tlen lron scratcl. It is ridiculous! Peo¡le lave no culinary inagi-
nation anynore. Tley just want sin¡licity. But it is a lalse sin¡licity to
buy ready-nades. It is so nucl easier just to cook a hllet ol hsl, ratler
tlan leating u¡ a ready-nade disl.º Tle vendor looks triun¡lantly at
ne and tlen goes on to basl tle nicrowave, tle true nark ol tle culi-
nary decay ol tle nodern tines. A niddle-aged cou¡le, being served by
anotler vendor, quickly ex¡lains tlat tley never use tleir nicrowave. Tle
vendor, wlo doesn`t even own a nicrowave, says tlat le always cooks,
always. And tlen tlere is no real need lor a nicrowave. Tle niddle-aged
cou¡le agrees. Tle nicrowave is only good lor delrosting tlings.
In tlis
way, tley acknowledge and conhrn one anotler as ¡eo¡le wlo enjoy and
know tle noble art ol cooking. Tlis se¡arates tlen lron tle unlortu-
nates wlo are reduced to eating ¡rocessed lood lor tle nicrowave. Tley
are, in contrast, ¡art ol a knowledgeable connunity ol gastronony.
The common ground of connoisseurship
Connoisseursli¡ de¡ends in ¡art on ideals about wlo tle consuner is.
Tlere is construction ol tle consuner as an ideal ty¡e low tle vendor
wisles tle consuner to be. In tlis case, tle consuner needs to be sone-
one wlo is knowledgeable about lood, wlo is able to nake distinctions,
and wlo is ¡re¡ared to ¡ay lor tle s¡ecial ¡roducts carelully selected by
tle vendor. However, tle ¡rerequisite ol connoisseursli¡ is tlat tle ven-
dor and tle custoner lave a¡¡roxinately tle sane kind ol knowledge,
and additionally, tlat botl hnd tle distinctions neaninglul. Otlerwise
84. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Vednesday, A¡ril 12,
85. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Vednesday, A¡ril 19,
customers: the consumers 259
tle custoner wlo seeks distinction just a¡¡ears ¡retentious. Being a
regular is sonetines associated witl connoisseursli¡, in tle sense tlat
being a regular neans belonging to a select lew.
Sone ol tle vendors are very skilled at naking tle regulars leel like
tley are gastrononic connoisseurs wlo are nastering tle language ol
lood and gastronony. One vendor is ¡articularly talented in tlis res¡ect.
A nan in lis early tlirties asked lin a question about lood, and tle ven-
dor leaned over tle counter to create a sense ol intinacy. He tlen told
lin tlat °Ve botl know tlat tlis is tle best quality. Iranian caviar is bet-
ter tlan Russian. Ol course. But, tle older generations don`t know tlis.
Tley kee¡ living by old rules, witlout o¡en ninds and true rehnenent
ol taste.º

Quality is also associated witl certain countries. Sweden, Switzerland
and France lave good quality. Belgiun and Holland can`t be trusted (even
il sone custoners value Belgian cloco lates). Food lron Russia or tle
Baltic countries are judged as unht lor consun¡tion. Tley sin¡ly don`t
lave tle sane notion ol lygiene and contanination as we (Swedes) do,
as one regular Östernaln narket lall custoner ex¡lained to ne.
sane concern is ex¡ressed by anotler custoner in lis sixties, wlo told ne
tlat tle origin ol lood is very in¡ortant, and tlat le las no conhdence in
tle lorner Lastern block countries. Tleir lood is so contaninated. Tley
use too nucl coal, and tlis causes ¡ollution tlat surely nust allect tleir
vegetables. He also brings u¡ Clernobyl as an exan¡le ol environnental
¡roblens tlat contributes to under nining lis trust. °Tlink global, eat
localº le ex¡lained to ne alter laving ¡urclased deer lron New Zeeland.
Tlis was justi hed, because tle deer was raised in tle o¡en air, and tlus
°nore naturalº, wlicl in tlis case was nore in ¡ortant tlan tle trans-
¡ort cost.
Tle noral and gustatory as¡ects ol lood can also be said to
¡lay a ¡art in tle negotiation ol quality.
Otler concerns ex¡ressed on nunerous occasions by various otler
custoners and vendors were about wlat was ¡erceived as natural, and il
tle ¡laces wlere tle lood was ¡roduced lived u¡ to tlose ex¡ectations.
Food lron certain countries, and even certain regions witlin countries,
was ¡erceived as nore succulent and nore desirable tlan lood lron otler
countries and regions. Provenance ¡lays a key ¡art in nany ol tle dehni-
tions ol gastrononic quality.
86. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Vednesday, Decenber 21,
87. Interview, Friday, Se¡tenber 9, 2005.
88. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Friday, Novenber 4, 2005.
chapter 9 260
Countries and regions nay sonetines ¡lay a role, even lor wild gane
and hsl. One cus ton er asks wlere tle eel is lron, and looks very ¡leased
wlen tle vendor ex¡lains tlat it was cauglt and snoked on Dalaro, an
island in tle Stockloln arcli¡elago.
Tlis niglt seen ironic, since tle
eel travels quite long distances to nate, and to s¡eak ol origin lor an eel
niglt not nake sense. However, lere it is ¡robably nore a question ol
asserting ¡rovenance in a dillerent nanner, witl ¡rovenance as a sign ol
reassurance tlat tle lood tastes like it used to, and like it slould. In tlis
way, notions ol ¡lace ¡lay an integral ¡art ol low quality is ¡er ceived. Tle
relation is not straigltlorward tlougl, and it niglt well contain contra-
dictions since gastrononic s¡ace is nost ol all an inagined ¡lace. Tlis
neans tlat sone countries, es¡ecially in Lastern Luro¡e, were ¡laced in
tle category ol unsale lood ¡roduction, a gastro nonic °no ¡laceº. Otler
countries, like Sweden or France, are ascribed gastrononic quality and
gastrononic values, wlicl turn tlen into ¡relerred gastrononic s¡aces.
But every ¡roduct las its own trajectory and its own logic, nucl in tle
sane way tlat Harvey et al describe wlen discussing quality as a social
Dehnitions ol quality in tle narket lall context quite olten lold a
nostalgic dinension. Tlis is ¡articularly evident in Östernaln narket
lall, even il tle otler narket lalls lave tleir lair slare ol nostalgia as
well, even il ex¡ressed in a sligltly dillerent nanner. Il we look into wlat
tle nostalgic dinension ol quality is all about, several custoners nen-
tion a sense ol connunity and belonging. One custoner ex¡lains tlat
sle used to work witl sone one wlose grandnotler lad a store in Ös-
ternaln narket lall, and slo¡¡ing in tlat store nakes ler leel tlat sle
las a connection to tle ¡ast.
Tle sane is true lor nany ol tle custoners
in Östernaln narket lall. Tley s¡eak ol °ties to tle ¡astº, tle leeling ol
°laving a connectionº, °to know and to know ol º or °being ¡art ol a se-
lect lewº. All ol tlese leelings could be seen as evi dence ol a community of
gastronomy, wlere dehnitions ol quality and knowledge about quali ty are
¡aranount. In Soderlallarna narket lall, nostalgia is less ¡ronounced,
but tle nature ol tle assortnent invites custoners to drean ol a nore
autlentic ¡ast, ¡rovided lere by snall-scale su¡ ¡li ers.
89. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tlursday, Decenber 22,
90. Harvey, M., McMeekin, A. & Varde, A., °Conclusion. quality and ¡rocess-
es ol qualihcationº, In M. Harvey, A. McMeekin & A. Varde (eds.), Qualities
of food.
91. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Friday, Novenber 4, 2005.
customers: the consumers 261
One ol tle con¡onents ol nostalgia is tle notion ol a nytlical ¡ast,
wlere everytling was done lron scratcl, and wlen tle ¡ersonal control
over tle lood ¡re¡arations was greater tlan in tle beginning ol tle 21st
century, witl all its convenience loods and industrial ready-nades. Tlis
nytlical ¡ast is ¡resent in all tlree narket lalls. In tlose days, ¡eo¡le
could ßay a deer, ¡luck a lowl, or hllet a hsl. Tley could landle ¡ro¡er
¡rinary ¡roduce, and tley could cook.
Tlis knowledge las been lost
in tle naelstron ol nodernity, claracterized by tle disa¡¡earance ol
tle lousewile, tle subsistence econony, and intergenerational lanilies.
In tle 1970s, tle narket lall was ¡acked even on an ordinary Tuesday
norning, one vendor wistlully ex¡lains to ne.
Needless to say, tlis idea
ol tle ¡ast says nore about tle ¡resent. But tlen again, tle ¡ur¡ose is
not listorical accuracy, but ratler to create a sense ol nostalgia and an
urgency to ¡reserve ¡erceived ¡ockets ol tle ¡ast.
Tle nain idea ol tlis nostalgia is tlat in tle ¡ast ¡eo¡le lad tine
to nake tlings lron scratcl, and tlat tlis ensured su¡erior quality, in
contrast to tle ¡rocessed industrial lood ol today. Vlen asked to dehne
quality ol neat, lor exan¡le, one ol tle lorner vendors ex¡lains tlat it
was tle way it used to look, tle texture, tle snell. Tle dry kind ol neat
you get today, wlen everyone is alraid ol lat, would lave been discarded
in tle ¡ast. Peo¡le just don`t know quality anynore, tle vendor lanents.

Ol course, tlere is an inlerent conßict lere, since lood witlout lat also
dehnes qual ity.
Nostalgia also translates into certain ready-cooked disles sucl as
salmon pudding, steak tartare, herring-rissole with currant sauce, potato girdle
cake and stuffed cabbage rolls. Tlese disles are nostalgic conlort lood, lor
consuners in tleir hlties and beyond. Precisely tlese disles were dehned
as tle cultural leritage ol lonely cooking by tle iconic Swedisl clel
Tore Vretnan and lis associates in tle 1960s.
Tlis kind ol lood is sold
in all tlree nar ket lalls, but it las tle nost ¡roninent ¡osition in Öster-
naln narket lall.
In a ¡lace like tle narket lall, nostalgia tlrives, and constitutes ¡art
ol botl wlat is ¡erceived as quality and wlat is ¡erceived as autlenticity.
It is also tle antitlesis ol large-scale rationality. Tle narket lall ¡rides it-
sell in being a ¡lace wlere tlings are allowed to take tine, wlere custon-
92. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Monday, Novenber 14,
93. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Saturday, October 22, 2005.
94. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Monday, Novenber 14,
95. Metzger, J., I köttbullslandet.
chapter 9 262
ers learn to °ex¡ect quality and service ol a con¡letely dillerent standard
to wlat would be ex¡ected lron your average in¡ersonal su¡ernarketº.

Indeed, tlere are sone undeniably service-oriented as¡ects ol narket lall
sales. tle counter service and ¡ersonal sales, wlicl are labor-intensive,
and tine-consuning, unlike tle sell-service ol tle su¡ernarket. To ratio-
nalize tle sales in tle narket lall by en¡loying less stall, or by introduc-
ing sell-service, would be to lessen tle ¡ossibility lor vendors to interact
witl custoners and connect witl tle custoners as in¡ortant and valued
clients. Or in otler words, it would lessen tleir ¡ossibilities to ¡erlorn
genuine enotional labor, wlicl is an essential ¡art ol tle craltsnansli¡
and tle atnos¡lere wlicl tle custoners associate witl °qualityº and
°¡ersonal serviceº.
96. Accessed Monday, May 8, 2007.
In tlis cla¡ter, tle ¡ers¡ective clanges lron tle consuner to tle ven-
dor. Business is based on a relationsli¡. tlere needs to be at least two
¡arties involved. To slow botl sides adds to our understanding ol wlat
is going on in tle narket lalls - wlat constitutes tlese elusive cultures
ol consun¡tion· In order to answer tlis, we need to consider two ques-
tions. How do you create a business· And low do you run a business·
Knowledge and con¡etence are crucial in building tle credibility you
need in order to establisl yoursell as a legitinate actor in tle narket lall.
How do you nanage tle values tlat are ¡art ol tle narket lall econony·
Vlat are tlese values· Ve nay look at tlen is in terns ol ¡ersonal val-
ues, social values, and hnally, connercial values. Tlese values are inter-
de¡endent, and in tlis cla¡ter tle vendors and tle narket lalls will be
analyzed in terns ol all tlree values.
Tlis cla¡ter looks at tle notion ol a s¡ecihc narket lall lilestyle lron
a vendor ¡ers¡ective. Certain conce¡ts becone crucial in our understand-
ing ol low tle vendors talk about tle narket lall lilestyle. First ol all, it
is a question ol craltsnansli¡. To be a good vendor is to be a good cralts-
nan. But since tle narket lall is ¡art ol an ex¡erience econony, and wlat
is sold is as nucl a service as a connodity, tle elenent ol slownan-
sli¡ is quite in¡ortant as well. To understand low tle craltsnansli¡
and slownansli¡ are acted out to establisl credibility lor tlenselves, it
is ¡ossible to look at low tle vendors use visual and s¡atial teclniques
sucl as liglting arrangenents, lood dis¡lays, and tle actual landling ol
tle loodstulls, as well as inages or articles in tle ¡ress. Tlis can be inter-
chapter 10 264
¡reted as a lorn ol in¡ression nanagenent, but also as a lorn ol s¡ace
nanagenent. S¡ace nanagenent slould be understood in tle sense ol
nanaging tle social s¡ace, but also as a way ol nanaging tangible s¡a-
tial arrangenents. low is tle store organized· Vlat la¡¡ens wlen otler
stores clange· How is tle counter laid out·
Vlen looking at tle narket lall, it nakes sense to s¡eak ol neta-
¡lorical tradenarks. Tle narket lall itsell is a kind ol neta¡lorical
tradenark. It is ¡resented as a s¡ecial lorn ol work. Tle narket lall is a
lorn ol knowledge tradition lor lood and gastronony. To gain credibil-
ity, words are not enougl. You need to ¡erlorn to be ¡art ol tlis way ol
knowing. It is as nucl knowledge in tle land, as it is knowledge ¡ut into
words. Tlis cla¡ter is ultinately about boundaries. wlo is in, and wlo is
out. It is also about ideals and sell-re¡resentations.
Tle ideals on low to run a business engender an econony ol inlorna-
tion and gossi¡. Tlere are lairly strong ideals about low to run a business
in tle narket lalls. Since all vendors de¡end on tle re¡utation ol all tle
otlers, it becones very in¡ortant tlat tlere is a nininun standard, tlat
custoners do not start associating tle narket lall witl dubious qual-
ity or over-¡ricing. Tlat tle vendors slare a re¡utation wlile con¡eting
against eacl otler brings on con¡arisons ol eitler a¡¡roval or conten¡t.
°Tlis vendor is really good.º °Sle}le runs ler}lis business just tle way
you slould.º °Tlat vendor is lo¡eless. It will never work out.º °Tlat ven-
dor is not con¡letely lonest.º Tle custoner niglt not notice tle diller-
ence, but tlose vendors are not working in tle traditional way, tley are
not res¡ecting low tlings slould be done in a narket lall.
Tlere is a certain gender-based division ol labor, wlicl lollows tle
classic restaurant division ol labor, witl nen generally working as clels,
and wonen as cold bullet nanagers. Tle neat vendors are nostly nen,
es¡ecially lor tle cutting and otler traditional butcler tasks, and witl
wonen selling ratler tlan butclering. For lowl and gane, tlere is a ¡re-
doninance ol nale vendors in Östernaln narket lall and Soderlal-
larna, wlereas it is nixed in Hotorget narket lall. For hsl, tlere is also
a ¡redoninance ol nale vendors, exce¡t lor tle ready-cooked hsl and
cold-cuts. Vendors ol Cleese and vegetables ty¡ically en¡loy nixed gen-
ders, wlereas bread vendors are alnost exclusively lenale.
Tlere are also certain etlnic divisions. In Östernaln narket lall, al-
nost everyone is ol Swedisl descent. One ol tle owners tries to ex¡lain
tlis to ne. °you lave to be able to understand tle codes, you know. Be
able to understand tle custoners. Tlis nakes it larder lor tle inni-
vendors 265
grants, tley don`t really lave tlat. leel lor it.º
Tle ex¡ectations as to
wlo can enter wlat line ol work las lelt tleir nark on tle narket lalls.
Tle last lood ¡laces selling kebab are all run by vendors ol Middle-Lastern
descent. Tley are nainly located in Hotorget narket lall, even il Soder-
lallarna las a lew last lood restaurants as well. Östernaln narket lall
did lave a kebab ¡lace once, but today tlere is no roon lor tlat kind ol
last lood tlere. Instead tley lave a lealtl-locused last lood ¡lace, wlicl
selling ¡ricey snootlies, lreslly squeezed juices, and wra¡s.
How to run a business
Vorking in tle narket lall is olten relerred to as a lilestyle cloice. It usu-
ally entails working long lours. Sone ¡eo¡le cone at hve or six o`clock in
tle norning, and stay until an lour or nore alter closing tine, resulting
in days ol u¡ to lourteen or hlteen lours, es¡ecially lor owners. Tlis de-
¡ends on tle seasons, tle days ol tle week, and tle rlytln ol tle day. But
even during slow tines, tle work is still lard, and tle lours long. Tlis
is sonetines con¡ensated by working lall days wlen business is slower,
but even so tle working conditions do not suit everyone. Tle long work-
ing lours nay sonetines create leelings ol solidarity anong tle workers,
and ol connunity, but tley also give ¡eo¡le tine to get annoyed witl
one anotler. All tle tine s¡ent working closely togetler allows tlen to
see wlat otlers are doing, and ¡ossibly hnd sources ol irritation. One ol
tle narket lall adninistrators jokingly said tlat tlere are always nore
calls on slow days. °Tlat`s wlen tley lave tine to tlink about wlat is
wrong witl tleir store, tleir neiglbors, and us.º

Belore o¡ening and alter closing tlere is nore roon lor jokes and
bonding between stall. On a Vednesday norning in February I an in-
vited into Hotorget narket lall belore o¡ening lours. One ol tle vendors
listens to nusic quite loudly and sings along as le sets u¡ hsl in tle
counters. On tlis day, one store is slort ol stall. In anotler store, one ol
tle vendors las oversle¡t, so tley work nostly in silent concentration.
Tlis needs to be done quickly. Tlere is still roon lor a lew jokes and dis-
cussions about tle latest lron tle lorse races. Tle vendors cleck tleir
dis¡lays. low does everytling look· Slould tley nove sonetling· Sone
itens are noved to nake nore roon, and tle glass counters are ¡olisled
a last tine.

1. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Vednesday, Novenber 23,
2. Interview, October 16, 2006.
3. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Vednesday, February 22, 2006.
chapter 10 266
Tle nise-en-scène and low tle narket lall is ¡re¡ared lor tle ¡ub-
lic, are ¡art ol tle in¡ression nanagenent tlat all vendors engage in,
witl varying degrees ol success. Tle visual and s¡atial arrangenents are
¡re¡arations lor tle social and cultural arrangenents ol tle rest ol tle
day wlen tley interact witl tle custoners. Vlat goes on belore o¡ening
lours are ¡art ol tle backstage ¡erlornance, and once tle narket lall is
o¡en, a lront stage ¡erlornance is required to u¡lold tle ex¡ectations
and tle social contract between tle vendors tlenselves, and between ven-
dor and custoners.
Tlere is sone roon lor sociability anong tle narket lall stall, even
during tle day. ¡laying, going lor visits, and buying lron otlers. Tle
snall talk and tle window slo¡¡ing is a way to nake tine ¡ass, but is
also a way ol naintaining sociability anong tle vendors. On a lairly caln
alternoon, I start talking to one ol tle vendors. Sle is quite young and
¡retty. Tle nale vendors working in tle store next to lers are teasing
ler a bit as tley walk ¡ast. Sle laugls and ex¡lains to ne tlat tley usu-
ally joke around like tlat, but only wlen it is slow.
However, tlere are
sone lorns ol sociability anong stall even in busy tines. Tle Clristnas
rusl denands tleir lull attention, but to kee¡ u¡ good s¡irits, tley hnd
tine to exclange a lew words in between tle waves ol custoners coning
According to tle narket lall work etlic, it is essential to not let tle
socializing anong vendors be nore in¡ortant tlan tle custoners. Tlis
can la¡¡en, nonetleless. For exan¡le, on one occasion, sone nenbers
ol tle stall are so busy talking anong tlenselves tlat tley niss a lew
custoners. Two ol tle ¡eo¡le busy talking are actually owners, so tlis is
not a question ol lazy en¡loyees. Instead it is nost ¡robably a reaction to
tle overwork lron tle days belore Clristnas. It is late in tle day as well,
wlen tleir attentiveness can dininisl.

Tlere is nore roon lor ¡lay at tle end ol tle day. Vlen you ¡ick u¡
tle carts to take tle lood down to tle basenent storage roons, you can
sing or race witl tle carts, as long as tle custoners do not notice too
nucl. You can also tlrow ice at your co-workers as you ¡ass by.
Sone ol
tle stores kee¡ selling well alter tle closing tine. Tle otler stores lave
closed, and tle stall nakes jokes. Tley are quite loud and noisy wlen
4. See lor exan¡le Gollnan, L., The presentation of self in everyday life, ¡. 122-
5. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Vednesday, Marcl 22,
6. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tlursday, Decenber 22, 2005.
7. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tlursday, Decenber 29, 2005.
8. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tlursday, A¡ril 20, 2006.
vendors 267
tley bring u¡ tle carts lor tle loodstulls tley will bring down to tle
cold storage lor tle niglt. Tley slan tle trays on tle carts and sing at
tle sane tine. Tley turn oll tle liglts in tleir stores to slow tlat tley
are closed.
Tle jokes anong stall olten circle around tleir own working
conditions, or tle way tleir co-workers run tleir stores. °I tlink I will
work lere lor a wlile. Do you need ne to cone in and lel¡ you· Yes, sure,
we need an a¡¡rentice.º Tle jokes continue, and are about stall wlo are
lazy, wlo do not know low to sell, or wlo can`t cone on tine. Tle jokes
are also centered on ¡eo¡le wlo work or wlo lave worked in tle narket
lalls, and wlat tley do wlen tley go into retirenent.

Sociability anong stall is not only about jokes. Just belore closing
tine on Tlursday ol tle Laster week, tlere are still sone luncles lelt
unsold. One ol tle vendors gives one to tle girl working at anotler store.
°It won`t last until Saturday anyway, and we would lave to tlrow it away
so you niglt as well take it. Do you want one lor your boylriend as well·º
Tle girl acce¡ts and sniles. Tlis can be seen as ¡art ol tle labric ol lavors
anong stall. you lel¡ eacl otler out sonetines, and you give snall gilts
to one anotler.

One ol tle vendors ex¡lains to ne tlat tlere are lots ol seasonal work-
ers in tle narket lalls. Sle is one ol tlen. °It is quite connon, you know,
es¡ecially anong tle young ¡eo¡le. Tley work lere lron October to Las-
ter. Tlen tley nove on and work tle sunners in tle arcli¡elago or on
tle Vest coast ol Sweden. Tlat`s tle way tle restaurant business works.
It is seasonal work, and you get to know ¡eo¡le, and tlere is always sone-
tling to do. I lave never been unen¡loyed in ny lile. It`s nice to lave
nany dillerent jobs. You never get tired ol any ol tlen.º
You never lave
any security eitler. But tlat subject did not arise in our conversation.
Tle seasonal claracter ol tle work can be seen nost clearly around
Clristnas. Tlere are s¡ecial arrangenents lor Clristnas. Tle decora-
tions cone u¡ at tle end ol Novenber. Tlere is nore stall, and signih-
cantly nore custoners. Vorking around Clristnas is botl described as
tle nost lun, and tle nost denanding work ol tle year. One ol tle ven-
dors ex¡lains low tley all work in con¡lete silence in tle nornings to
¡re¡are lor tle long days. Tlis silent concentration in tle nornings las
9. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Tuesday, Decenber 20,
10. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tuesday, February 7, 2006.
11. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Tlursday, A¡ril 13, 2006.
12. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Vednesday, A¡ril 12,
chapter 10 268
its own beauty, le continues. Ve all know wlat we need to do, and we
work really last.
Tlis contributes to tle closely knit working solidarity.
Around Clristnas, nost stores are lull ol extra stall, wlo nay not
know all tle routines. Lveryone looks a bit nore tired, and tle custoner
crowds seen to kee¡ ¡ouring in. To nanage tle crowds, tle doors in one
ol tle snaller entrances in Östernaln narket lall are o¡ening only one
way to steer tle crowds in tle riglt directions. Tlere are also lar nore
gilt baskets tlan at otler tines ol tle year. Tle o¡ening lours are nore
generous as well. All ol tlis ¡uts a greater strain on tle stall.
Alter tle
Clristnas rusl, tle vendors look really tired. Tle days in between Clrist-
nas and New Years, nany stores are beginning to close a bit earlier. °Ve
lave so nany orders waiting lor us, tlings we need to ¡re¡areº nany ol
tle vendors ex¡lain to ne wlen tley notice tlat I look at ny watcl. A lot
ol tle stores oller catering lor New Years, so tle work downstairs in tle
kitclens is olten alnost as denanding as lor Clristnas.
Tlere can ol course be busy tines outside tle big seasons. On tle eve
ol tle big s¡ring ¡arty in one ol tle narket lalls, one store las a ¡arallel
event scleduled lor tle evening. °rent a clel º. In tlis case, tlis neans to
rent two clels actually, because tlere will be around twenty-hve guests
and tley all need to be entertained witl sone kind ol cooking. Tlis
neans tley lave extra work to do on a day tlat is already busy. One ol tle
clels lets ne cone witl lin as le ¡lans tle evening`s activities. Tle clel
discusses tle nenu witl tle otler clel. Vlat do tley need· Is tlere any-
tling we need to buy belore tle guests arrive· Tley need to kee¡ it sin¡le
enougl, and still nake sure tle guests are la¡¡y. Tley hnally decide to
divide tle guests into tlree teans. For tlis event, tley lave borrowed
tleir neiglbor`s kitclen as well in order to lave nore s¡ace.
Tley divide tle res¡onsibility between tle two ol tlen, and ny clel
brings ne to collect sone garbage bags lron tle storage roon, wlicl
also serves as an olhce. It is a ratler crowded s¡ace witl no windows,
and tle clel sniles and ex¡lains. °Tle boss likes to say tlat il you kee¡
tle olhces as un¡leasant as ¡ossible, everyone wants to be in tle store,
and tlat`s wlere you nake tle noney. And it`s true too!º Ve go u¡stairs
13. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Tuesday, Decenber 20,
14. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Vednesday, Decenber 21,
15. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Vednesday, Decenber 28,
2005, Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall Tlursday, Decenber 29,
2005, Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Tlursday, Decenber
29, 2005.
16. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Saturday, A¡ril 22, 2006.
vendors 269
again to ¡re¡are tle tables lor tle guests. Tley lave borrowed s¡ace lron
tle big restaurant, so tle guests can sit se¡arately lron tle crowds at tle
big s¡ring ¡arty. Tle clel kee¡s doing snall tlings everywlere, adding
sonetling lere, and ¡icking sonetling u¡ tlere. Belore tle guests arrive
le takes a slort break, to locus and relax belore lis ¡erlornance begins.
Tlis is tle end ol a long day, and le still las a lot nore work to do.

Vlat is so a¡¡ealing in all tlis lard work tlen· One ol tle vendors
s¡eaks to ne ol tle lreedon sle ex¡eriences. No one tells ler wlat to do
or tlink lere. Sle is ler own boss. Tlat is wonderlul! Tle otler vendors
neiglboring ler store are also sucl nice ¡eo¡le. °It is sucl a lriendly and
warn atnos¡lere lere in Hotorget narket lal, don`t you tlink· It`s not
like Soderlallarna or Östernaln narket lall. Here ¡eo¡le are real ¡eo¡le.
Sone ¡eo¡le tlink it is ex¡ensive lere in Hotorget narket lall. But tlat`s
not true! It`s even clea¡er tlan in ICA Maxi. Tlings lave becone nucl
livelier since tle wine and liquor store o¡ened u¡ down lere. It brings
nore custoners.º

Tle vendors also dehne wlo tley are and wlat tleir narket lall is like
in relation to tle otler narket lalls, and also in relation to otler sales
lornats, like at tle su¡ernarket ICA Maxi. Tley also reler to atnos¡lere
as tle intangible quality tlat renders lard work enjoyable. Likewise, tle
custoners cite tle autlentic atnos¡lere as a reason lor coning into tle
narket lalls, des¡ite tle lact tlat it niglt a¡¡ear nore rational lron an
econonic and a tine ¡oint ol view to slo¡ in a su¡ernarket. Autlenticity
is translated into quality, and associated witl tle narket lall.
It is quite connon to hnd ¡eo¡le lron tle restaurant business wlo
cloose tle narket lall because to tlen it ollers nucl better working
lours. One ol tle vendors ex¡lains tlat tlis is really good, since le gets
to see lis lanily nucl nore now. It is like working in tle restaurant busi-
ness witlout tle late niglts. Il you are used to being a clel, you never lave
to conlront tle custoners. It is a bit dillerent wlen you stand in tle store
and sell tlings. He likes it tlougl.
Anotler lorner clel says tlat le las
becone nucl nicer custoner now tlat le does not work late lours any
nore. Belore, il tlere was even tle sligltest ¡roblen, le would send back
lis lood. Now le tlinks, ley, give tle clels a break. Tlis is still OK lood.
He really enjoys working in tle narket lall. Tle salary is good, tle co-
workers are great, and tle working lours are conlortable. °Tle working
jargon is lun too, it`s a really excellent ¡lace to work!º
When the hard
17. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Saturday, A¡ril 22, 2006.
18. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tuesday, Marcl 21, 2006.
19. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tuesday, A¡ril 11, 2006.
20. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tuesday, A¡ril 11, 2006.
chapter 10 270
work ol tle restaurant trade is con¡ared to tle narket lall working con-
ditions, tle trade oll seens to be in lavor ol tle narket lall.
The market hall lifestyle
Tle narket lall lilestyle is sonetines described by vendors and custon-
ers alike as la¡¡y lood connerce. Tle liveliness, tle buzz, tle scents, tle
visual in¡ressions contribute to tlis inage, and it is reinlorced by tle
narket lall lore ¡ro¡agated by journalists. Tlis descri¡tion ol tle nar-
ket lall lilestyle resenbles descri¡tions ol restaurants and tle working
cultures tlere. Tlere are nany otler sinilarities between tle restaurant
world and tle narket lall world. A restaurant is also a conbination ol
¡roduction and service ol a ¡erislable connodity, lood, and tlis nakes
coordination ol service and ¡roduction crucial. Tlere is olten lriction be-
tween tle waiting stall ¡roviding tle service and tle kitclen stall ¡rovid-
ing tle ¡roduction}lood, but tle working conditions also seen to oller
sonetling intangible tlat nake ¡eo¡le stay and enjoy tleir work des¡ite
tle strenuous ellort required.
As an exan¡le, a study ol a ¡articular restaurant in tle UK slowed
low tle working conditions were ¡oor, witl extrenely long lours and
lack ol ßexibility. Yet tlere was no resentnent anong tle stall, des¡ite
tle obvious wealtl ol tle owner. In addition, tlere was no unionization
and little turnover ol stall. Tle success seened to lie in ¡resenting work
nore as a way ol lile. working was not ¡erceived as work, but ratler work
and leisure nelted togetler. Tle stall s¡ent nucl ol tleir lree tine at tle
restaurant. Tleir lriends and relatives cane by, and tle stall was encour-
aged to s¡end tine witl tlen il tlere were slack tines. Punctuality was
not so in¡ortant, and stall was given lreedon to organize tleir own rou-
tines lor work. Vlere tle service ¡rovided is leisure, tlis way ol nixing
work and leisure nay be quite connon.

Tlis nixing ol work and leisure ¡artly a¡¡lies to tle narket lall as
well, and nay ex¡lain sone ol tle entlusiasn ol tle stall. Presenting
work as a way ol lile slould not be considered as a sin¡le ex¡loitation
device. Lnbracing work as a lilestyle actually ¡rovides gratihcations and
rewards lor tle stall. Vlen discussing tleir working lile, tle vendors
dis¡lay a very reßexive stance. Tley know tlat wlat tley engage in. Ac-
cordingly, tlere is a certain con¡licity between vendors and custoners
21. Tle study ol tle restaurant was undertaken by Gordon Marslall, see
Marslall, G., °°Tle work¡lace culture ol a licensed restaurantº, Theory, Cul-
ture and Society, 3, 1986, ¡. 33-48, quoted in Urry, J., The tourist gaze, ¡. 74-75.
vendors 271
tlat tley are ¡erlorning a narket lall sociality. But tle interactions still
¡rovide a sense ol ¡ride and ¡leasure over a work well-done.
Tle air and ¡ersonality ol tle stall contribute to creating a stage witl
a gallery ol claracters tlat builds credibility in tle narket lall. Tle stall
in one ol tle stores in Östernaln narket lall denonstrates tlis nost
clearly. Several ol tle nale vendors lave tattoos, slaved leads, and a
rougl look about tlen, like tle stereoty¡e ol old-sclool sailors and dock
workers. Tley sell hsl and wild gane. Tlis nay not be intentional, but
it still adds to tle air ol tle store. Ve can see tle casting ol tle stall as
a lorn ol ¡lay witl tle eccentric. Tlis in turn can be linked to tle dis-
cussions on tle ex¡erience econony.
To be a narket lall vendor las
a lot to do witl dehning onesell as a ¡erson witl discrininating taste,
and knowledge. To work in a narket lall is a question ol slownansli¡,
as well as craltsnansli¡. To reler to yoursell as a being a barista ratler
tlan just selling collee, is a way ol dis¡laying your ¡rolessional skill. To
give tle custoners a good slow is closer to tle ideals ol tle ex¡erience
econony, tlat is, to give tle custoner nore tlan just tle ¡roduct.
Tle job is not always seen as a lilestyle, as sonetines it nay also be
a ¡art-tine job on tle side. Lven so, nany ol tle ¡art-tiners still take
¡ride in being good at wlat tley do, at slowing craltsnansli¡. Tlere are
exce¡tions to tle desire to dis¡lay knowledge and skill. tlose to wlon
it is °just a jobº and no dillerent lron otler jobs.
Vork is sonetines
described as toil. Tle ¡art-tiners nore olten tlan tle owners or lull-tin-
ers s¡eak negatively about tle routine. standard interactions, standard
¡lrases, nonotony, and boredon. But tle lull-tiners also talk about
tle ellect ol routine, and low sonetines tle sense ol aestletics works
nore as a reßex, wlere you sin¡ly rely on labit and °tle knowledge ol
tle landº. To reinvent yoursell and take tle tine to consciously create
sonetling new denands nore energy, but can be an elhcient antidote to
tle ellects ol routine.
Tle relationsli¡s between co-workers, and between owners and en-
¡loyees, are not always lree lron lriction. Vlen I ask one ol tle vendors
about leedback, le bitterly con¡lains about not receiving ¡raise and
acknowledgenent lor lis lard work. °Tle boss never says anytling un-
less le las sonetling to con¡lain about. He never encourages us. It`s
22. Pine J. B. & Gillord, J. H., The experience economy, Tle work ol Pine and
Gilnore draws leavily lron Gollnan, L., The presentation of self in everyday
life. See also Bell, D., °Tle los¡itable cityº, Progress in Human Geography 31(1),
2007, ¡. 7-22.
23. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Tuesday, Novenber 22,
chapter 10 272
so unlair wlen all lear is low unla¡¡y tle custoners are. And let ne
tell you, not everyone lere is good at giving advice. I won`t nention any
nanes, but it was sonebody else wlo nade a nistake and tle boss told
ne oll.º

Tlere are sone silly connents tlat custoners re¡eat several tines a
day. Tle vendors still snile ¡olitely at tlese jokes wlicl recur lrequently,
sucl as. °Are tle greens green today·º
But tle vendors do not always
endure tlis sin¡ly by sniling. Sonetines tley joke back. °I love joking
around witl clildren about tle rabbits. Ve tell tlen tley are rabbits we
lound in tle ads lor lree. Sonetines we say tley are cats. It`s so lunny.
Tle kids never know wlat to tlink. Tley see tle little bits ol lur and get
all worked u¡. I nean, ley, wlat do tley tlink neat is anyway· Tlat it
grows in busles·º
Tlis can be inter¡reted as a way ol letting oll stean,
and by directing tlat ire towards tlose wlo are ¡erceived to be lower in
tle social lierarcly, like clildren, it could be said tlat tle vendors nini-
nize tle risk ol allronting tle real custoners. Tle sane ty¡es ol jokes
can be extended to consuners wlo are not real custoners, like tle ¡re-
sclool teaclers coning in witl clildren to look at tle lood. °I love wlen
le does tlat, tell tle kids tley can ¡lay witl tle hsl il tley want to! You
slould see tle looks on tle ¡resclool teaclers` laces!º

Tle vendors talk anongst tlenselves sonetines and con¡lain about
stu¡id custoners. Vendors lron two dillerent stores exclange con¡laints
about custoners coning to hsl restaurants to lave wild gane or clicken.
°wly even botler·º Tlis lel¡s tle vendors to kee¡ a ¡rolessional attitude
towards tle custoners wlo can be very exacting at tines.
Tle vendors
vent lrustration over tle stu¡id questions tley get. wly do ¡eo¡le ask
lor lresl ¡rawns on Mondays· °Ol course tlere are no lresl ¡rawns on
Mondays. It`s not like tle hslernen work on Sundays!º Otler vendors
con¡lain about custoners wlo ex¡ect tlen to stock every ¡ossible sau-
sage in tle world, even wlen tlere are only one or two buyers. °How could
tley· It`s in¡ossible!º Anotler source ol irritation is custoners asking
lor loodstulls tlat are out ol stock, and relusing to take no lor an answer.
°It is not as il I`n liding tlings! I would sell il I could and it cones again
on Friday. Vly don`t tley listen·º

24. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tlursday, Decenber 29,
25. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Friday, A¡ril 21, 2006.
26. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tlursday, A¡ril 13, 2006.
27. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tuesday, Novenber 22,
28. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tuesday, February 21, 2006.
29. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Monday, Marcl 6, 2006.
vendors 273
It could also be con¡laints about custoners wlo reluse to buy lron
anyone but tleir lavorite. It is Vednesday ol tle Laster week. As tle al-
ternoon draws to a close, ¡eo¡le are lining u¡ to buy lanb lor Laster. A
lady in ler later sixties is waiting to be served by tle owner. Sle is quite
adanant tlat no one else will do. Tle owner takes lis tine saying good-
bye to tle custoners le is serving belore turning to serve tle lady, wlo is
¡leased once sle las lis attention. Sle wants to buy baby lanb and tlis
natter needs to be discussed witl tle owner. How slould sle ¡re¡are it·
Vlicl one slould sle cloose· Later on I ask tle owner about tlis, and
le is not very ¡leased. °Tle custoners slould be able to buy lron anyone
and not lave lavorites like tlat.º

It is a slow Monday norning in Soderlallarna. A lew custoners stroll
around anong tle stores. Tle stall is nostly engaged in ¡re¡aring lor
tle luncl guests wlo will start arriving in about an lour. A latler and lis
dauglter are walking around looking at tle goods in tle counters. Tle
little girl wants to know wlat tle ox tail is. Tle latler ex¡lains in a lusled
tone. It is as il tle entire narket lall is wra¡¡ed u¡ in cotton-wool. Tle
usual sounds and scents are less a¡¡arent. Tlis is tine at its slowest, a
tedious, grey nonotony. Mondays are slow days, once tle tidying u¡ alter
tle week end, and tle deliveries lave been taken care ol. Tuesdays and
Vednesdays can be even slower at tines. Tlis is also ¡art ol working in a
narket lall. to know wlat to do witl yoursell il tle ¡ace is slow.

On one ol tlese slow alternoons I lang around one ol tle vendors
until closing tine. Tle vendor cuts u¡ neat. Fron tine to tine, le goes
to tle storage roons to get tlings. He also rearranges tle various boxes
in tle relrigerated counters, and looks at invoices and order lorns. Tle
novenents are erratic. He slans tle doors. He con¡lains about low te-
dious it can be at tines to just be lere wlen you want to be sonewlere
else. Sonetines you just leel worn out. Tle custoners are very denand-
ing tlis ¡articular alternoon. It is as il tley sense tlat le is not quite lis
usual sell, and tley becone even nore exacting tlan nornal.

Tle slow tines can lead to worries. One ol tle vendors con¡lains to
ne tlat it is always slow on Mondays. I order new tlings, hll u¡ alter tle
week end, and ¡lan alead. But I worry. Tle weekends are not enougl.
s¡eak witl anotler vendor wlo also con¡lains about tle slow tines. °I
30. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Vednesday, A¡ril 12,
31. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Monday, February 6,
32. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tuesday, February 21, 2006.
33. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Monday, Marcl 6, 2006.
chapter 10 274
worry about ny lanily. I never see tlen, I just s¡end ny days lere, wait-
ing lor custoners wlo never slow u¡. Tle autlorities kee¡ coning witl
new rules and regulations. Tlere are so nany bills to ¡ay. Taxes to ¡ay.
Rents to ¡ay. Always sonetling to ¡ay. My body just acles lron standing
on tlese lard stone ßoors all day, carrying leavy loads, and doing leavy
work. I lave cran¡s and ny joints acle and ny leet lurt. Tle days are too
long and I lave too nucl res¡onsibility. I wisl I could clange ny lile.º

Tle tedious slow tines and tle lard work are contrasted witl tle tine
s¡ent at lone.
How tle slow tines are inter¡reted to sone extent de¡ends on tle sea-
son and tle weatler. S¡ring las dehnitely cone to Stockloln, and nost
¡eo¡le are outside enjoying tle sun. It is already tle beginning ol May,
and tle narket lalls are unusually quiet and slee¡y. °Ol, tle custoners·
Tley are out in tle sun, eating ice crean and on tle weekends tley go to
tleir sunner louses. Ve won`t see tlen lere until nidsunner. Unless
tley need sone catering or neat lor tleir barbecues.º I notice a cou¡le ol
boxes hlled witl catering lood tlat are about to get ¡icked u¡ lor deliv-
ery. Tlere are a lew stray custoners wlo buy ready-nades, but nost seen
anxious to get out into tle sun again.

Competition, cooperation, and conflict
Tlere are nunerous arenas wlere tle vendors need to coo¡erate. It is not
only about tle daily work ol hnding tle riglt kind ol routines in order
to nake sure tlat every one`s needs are net, it is also about slared s¡ace.
Since all tle vendors work so close to one anotler, ¡art ol tle coo¡era-
tion is about tle connon lront, in otler words, tle connon tradenark
ol tle narket lall. Tlis connon tradenark can be inter¡reted on neta-
¡lorical terns. It is tle Market Hall as a general idea, as a s¡ecial lorn ol
work, con¡ared to big retailing clains. Tradenark in tlis sense is botl
about low you interact witl custoners and about tle quality ol your
Since wlat tley are selling is actually botl a ¡roduct and a
service, tle value is quite intangible.
Coo¡eration can take all sorts ol lorns. It niglt be tlat you slare
ex¡erience related to low to redecorate your store. °Tlis is tle su¡¡lier
I lave used wlen I renovated ny store. Here is tle inlornation le gave
ne. Do you want to lave a look· I tlink it is nucl roonier now.º
34. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tuesday, Marcl 21, 2006.
35. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Monday, May 8, 2006.
36. Gollnan, G., The presentation of self in everyday life.
37. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tuesday February 7, 2006.
vendors 275
an interview witl one ol tle adninistrators, wlo las ex¡erience lron
all tlree narket lalls, le ex¡lains tlat tle vendors in Hotorget narket
lall are nucl nore ¡rone to coo¡eration tlan tle otler vendors in tle
otler narket lalls. He leels tlis is ¡robably because tlere are nore snall-
scale entre¡reneurs tlere wlo need to co-o¡erate to overcone sone ol
tle costs.

Sonetines vendors slare tle cost ol buying sonetling jointly. Tlere
are also sone cases ol internal deliveries witlin tle narket lall, wlere
vendors deliver to tleir lellow vendors. Tlis nay lead to conßict over low
tle costs slould be divided, or wlen internal invoices need to be ¡aid.
Quarrels over s¡ace are otler ¡otential sources ol conßict. Vendors sone-
tines lave to slare kitclen and storage s¡ace. Tlis can lead to conßict
wlen all vendors lave need lor tle sane s¡ace at tle sane tine. Tlis is
¡articularly salient around Clristnas wlen everyone needs to ¡re¡are lor
tle best sales season ol tle year. Sonetines tle vendors go to tle narket
lall adninistration witl tleir con¡laints. Tle stall nenbers at tle nar-
ket lalls do not wisl to interlere too nucl, but one ol tlen told ne low
tley lave to go in at tines and suggest solutions on a very detailed level.
°Tlere are always con¡laints about tle otler vendorsº, tle adninistra-
tor tells ne. Connon exan¡les are °tlat tley don`t clean ¡ro¡erly, tlat
tley use too nucl ol tle connon s¡ace in tle aisles lor ¡rivate uses.
Tlis clutters tle s¡ace lor tle custoners and tlen tley all suller lron itº,
le continues.
Vlen everyone las nore to ¡re¡are and everyone needs
to use tle kitclens at tle sane tine, tle tine scledules becone nore
rigid, and tlere is less roon to in¡rovise il tlere are custoners wlo lave
s¡ecial requests.
It is Tuesday ol tle Laster week, and all tle vendors are ¡re¡aring ler-
ring in various ways. Tle entire kitclen is hlled to tle brin witl lerring,
and one ol tle vendors needs to nince hsl lor hsl quenelles lor a regular
custoner. °I wisl I ladn`t s¡oiled tlen so nucl, now tley all want tleir
ninced hsl. And tley all want it tlis week. Ol course, it`s traditional lor
sone ¡eo¡le to lave hsl quenelles lor Laster, but it is inconvenient riglt
now.º Tle vendor renoves tle lerrings to lave nore s¡ace to nince tle
hsl lor tle quenelles, quickly rinses tle nincing nacline, and returns
u¡ to tle waiting custoner witl tle ninced hsl. Tlis interru¡tion only
caused ninor irritation and tle steady work ¡ace is soon resuned. Tle
cook wlo was busy witl tle lerrings carries on witl lis work. Tlere are
otler ¡arallel activities going on, and tle cook ¡re¡ares salnon disles.
°Salnon is great lor Lasterº le ex¡lains to ne. Tle vendors take turns at
38. Interview, October 16, 2006.
39. Interview, October 13, 2006.
chapter 10 276
tle cooker as well. Tley all ¡re¡are hllets ol lerring stulled witl ¡arsley
and dill. °Lveryone wants tlis lor Laster, you know.º Tle vendors lron
tle neiglboring store lave just hnisled witl tle steaner. Vlen tle cook
wlo las been ¡re¡aring lerring wants to use tle steaner, tlere is sone-
tling wrong witl tle tlernostat. Tle ten¡erature kee¡s jun¡ing u¡
and down instead ol increasing at a steady ¡ace. Tle vendors all get wor-
ried and look at tle steaner. To kee¡ tle worries on a nanageable level
tley start joking about laving to ¡ay anotler 100,000 SLK, and low tley
really look lorward to tlis, as tley are all virtually swinning in noney
and don`t know wlat to do witl it.

Conßicts over cleaning, utensils, or ¡roducts going aniss also occur.
One ol tle vendors jokingly accuses anotler lor being a kle¡tonaniac,
and ¡retends to guard lis own goods, wlile calling out tlat tle otler
slould kee¡ lis dirty lands to linsell. It is all done in a joking tone,
but tle vendor wlo is accused does not res¡ond. Instead le looks an-
Tlese stories reacl tle Market lall adninistration as well. One
ol tle adninistrators gives an exan¡le. °You can`t go running beet roots
in tle slared ¡otato ¡eeling nacline and not clean ¡ro¡erly, because
tlen tle next guy wlo cones along to ¡eel ¡otatoes will get red color on
lis ¡otatoes. Ol course tlat creates tension. Usually tley work it out by
tlenselves by yelling a bit, but sonetines we lave to lel¡ tlen solve tle
Sone ol tle ¡aternalistic leritage ol tle earlier eras are reßect-
ed lere. Tle City as landlord takes res¡onsibility in a nore lar-reacling
nanner tlan a ty¡ical ¡rivate ¡ro¡erty owner would.
Otler vendors` ¡ricing ¡olicies are also a sensitive natter. Tlere are
always runors about ¡rohts, and sonetines accusations ol slady deal-
ings and black noney. Tle accusations ol black noney and slady deal-
ings were extrenely rare wlen tle vendors talked to ne, and il tley oc-
curred, tley nostly relerred to one ol tle otler narket lalls, not tleir
own. Vlen it cones to tales ol non-ideal belavior, nost ol tle vendors I
lave talked to seen to hnd it easier to talk ol tle ¡ast. In tle ¡ast ¡eo¡le
were drinking too nucl lere in tle narket lalls. In tle ¡ast, you could
always hnd ways ol getting around tle ration book lor wine and s¡irits
in tle narket lall.
In tle ¡ast, ¡eo¡le were not so ¡articular about ly-
giene. Tle narket lall adninistrators conhrn tlis ¡icture ol tle narket
40. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tuesday, A¡ril 11, 2006.
41. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Vednesday, February 22,
42. Interview, October 13, 2006.
43. In Sweden, tlere was a systen ol ration books lor wine and s¡irits lron
1914 to 1955.
vendors 277
lall. Most ¡roblens are relerred to in tle ¡ast, and nost vendors are said
to be lonest nowadays. Tlis is a way ol landling tle ¡roblenatic issues
ol gossi¡ and slander. Il you reler to it as being in tle ¡ast, it becones less
ßagrant ol a ¡roblen. It is also a way ol contrasting yoursell witl tle ¡ast
in order to tell tle story ol your own success today. In tlis sense, it tells us
nore about low ¡eo¡le nanage tleir ¡resent sell inage.
To be ¡art ol a larger business grou¡ las advantages, in gaining greater
econonic strengtl and tle ¡ossibility to ¡roht lron coordination. Tlis
too can be viewed witl a sus¡icious eye, by tle otler vendors. Perla¡s
tleir ¡rohts and tleir solidity is not as good as it a¡¡ears· To sell outside
ol tle narket lall world, is tlat not a sign ol selling out· Tlis kind ol
gossi¡ is nore in¡lied tlan outs¡oken, even il ex¡licit accusations are
sonetines nade as well. Custoners indulge in tlis belavior wlen tley
reßect on tle develo¡nent ol tle narket lall. Vendors are very carelul
wlen tley gossi¡, and ¡reler to say good tlings about tleir con¡etitors,
sucl as wlo is good at tleir job and wly. Tle criticisn cones nore indi-
rectly, or in ¡assing. Tle gossi¡ and tle sus¡icions can be countered by
dis¡laying knowledge or by building credibility in otler ways. Tle Me-
lander Grou¡, lor exan¡le, owns tle renowned restaurant °Vedlolns
hskº, and las nanaged to naintain tle star attributed to it lron tle
Guide Miclelin, wlicl in itsell is a caclet ol gastrononic ca¡ital.
The loss of tradition?
Tle nost recurrent tlene wlen vendors discuss tle loss ol tradition is
a general lanentation ol tle slallowness and su¡erhciality ol our tines
vs. tle golden age ol lorner days. Tle disres¡ect ol tradition, lack ol a¡-
¡lication and skill, are lanented. First class ¡rinary ¡roduce and cooking
skills are no longer wlat tley once were.
Vendors lrequently s¡eak ol
new eating labits as a reason lor tle loss ol tradition. Tlis ¡erceived loss
ol tradition is usually ex¡lained by a general squeeze on tine in ¡resent
day Swedisl society. How are ¡eo¡le ever to lave tine to do any cooking
witl all tle clores tley lave to do· Peo¡le work lull-tine, tley lave clil-
dren, and tley redecorate tleir lones all tle tine. Ol course tlere is no
tine lelt lor cooking.
Besides, tlere is a renarkable loss ol skill wlen it
cones to cooking. Several vendors say tlat we lave lost at least two gen-
erations wlo are lo¡eless at cooking.
44. Tlese lanentations are not conhned to tle narket lall context ol course.
See lor exan¡le Vileisis, A., Kitchen literacy.
45. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Monday, Novenber 7, 2005.
chapter 10 278
Tle renewed interest in cooking and cooking slows, as well as in
cookbooks and gastrononic ¡ress is sonetines inter¡reted as a lo¡elul
sign. Many say tlat tle tlirty-sonetlings age grou¡ is actually slowing
a lot ol interest. Tley niglt still becone true gastronones. Tle cook-
books are inter¡reted as signs ol a growing interest in lood. Tle vendors
also retell stories ol young ¡eo¡le coning in to buy snall ¡ieces ol qual-
ity lood witl tleir ¡ocket noney, as il to reassure tlenselves tlat tlere
will be new custoners in tle luture. Tlis is a lorn ol incantation against
bad business luck. Tle alßuent tlirty-sonetlings are considered desir-
able custoners. However, one vendor describes tlen as hckle. °Tley
don`t ¡rioritize good quality lood. Tley buy things instead. Vlat do tley
want witl tleir tlings· Vlat good are tleir kitclens and tableware il
tley don`t buy food·º
Tle lrustrations ex¡ressed by tle vendors reveal
tle vulnerable ¡osition ol any snall-scale entre¡reneur. Il only tley could
deternine wlat tle consuner wanted, il only tlere were guarantees tle
consuner would always cone back and s¡end a lair slare in tle narket
lall. To ¡redict and orclestrate denand, tlat would be an art wortl nas-
Vendors con¡ete witl goods and services ol all kinds. It is not only
lood wlicl can lel¡ tle custoners realize tleir identity ¡roject. lurni-
ture, clotling, and travels all con¡ete lor tle luxury s¡ending ca¡acity.
Tle travels ¡eo¡le nake are also seen as a tlreat to tradition. °Peo¡le
cone lone and tley just want loreign lood all tle tine,º one ol tle ven-
dors con¡lains. °On tle otler land, tlis is good because tley ask lor
new ¡roductsº, le continues. Still, tle loss ol tradition is lanented. Here
tradition and traditional Swedisl lood sucl as boiled ling or lernented
lerring are ¡resented as ideals in tleir own riglt. Innigration is nen-
tioned as a reason lor tle disa¡¡earance ol tradition. Tlis is a sensitive
subject, and tle vendor corrects linsell innediately alter saying tlis,
and stresses tlat innigration also creates traditions, and tlat inni-
grants are usually nucl better cooks tlan Swedes.

Tradition and clange are constantly reenacted and renegotiated. In
one ol tle stores tlat ¡rides itsell in working in a very traditional way, tle
owner and tle clel discuss clanges. Tle owner wants to turn a storage
roon into a kitclen, but tle clel tlinks it will be too snall and claus-
tro¡lobic. Tle owner also wants to rationalize sone ol tle cooking ¡ro-
cesses. Tle clel is decidedly against. It will not do. Tle owner can do tlat
alter tle clel las retired. He reluses to do any rationalizations. It is a
question ol ¡rolessional integrity. A clel does lis work and takes res¡on-
46. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tuesday, February 22, 2006.
47. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Monday, Novenber 7, 2005.
vendors 279
sibility lor tle entire ¡rocess. Tle owner laugls and says tlat tlis is wly
le ¡ays lis clel so well. He las ¡rolessional integrity. Vlen tle owner
leaves, I stay and talk to tle clel. He adjusts sone ol tle boxes witl ready
nade disles. Tlis is better le ex¡lains, °Now tley look like bouquets.º
Ve talk about cooking. °To ne it is nore like a routine nowadays. I know
wlat to do and I don`t tlink about it so nucl. But I guess routine cones
witl ex¡erience.º He tlen ex¡lains low le was trained in one ol tle ¡res-
tigious lotel and restaurant sclools in Switzerland, and low tley truly
¡ut a locus on craltsnansli¡. Craltsnansli¡ is in¡ortant.

Tle interaction between tle clel and tle owner ol tle store reßects
a resistance to tle atten¡ts at rationalizing a ¡rolession, wlicl ecloes
earlier develo¡nents in tle retail sector. In tle interwar ¡eriod, tle era
ol counter service stores and an ex¡anding retail sector, a lot ol energy
was invested in raising tle status ol tle vendors and clerks, and turn-
ing tlis into a true ¡rolession. Vitl tle subsequent rationalizations, an
increasing and loss ol skills and status translorned tle ¡roud counter
service store culture into a streanlined, standardized consun¡tion na-
cline, wlere tle vendors and clerks were reduced to snall cogs in tle big
wleel ol retailing. Tle resistance ol tle clel to tle standardization and
rationalization ellorts ol tle owner can tlus be inter¡reted as an atten¡t
to saleguard a sense ol craltsnansli¡ and ¡rolessional integrity.
But tlere is anotler side to tle tales ol tle nytlical ¡ast concerning
tle less glorious as¡ects. tle lardsli¡s, tle class dillerences and lierar-
clies, tle lornal address, tle nunber ol stores, tle larsl con¡etition,
tle nature ol tle assortnent, tle lygienic ¡roblens, and tle long lours.
Tlese are not tle stories we wisl to be told wlen nostalgia nakes us
drean ol a nore autlentic ¡ast wlere quality - true quality - reigned su-
The importance of knowledge and contacts
One way ol looking at tle relationsli¡s in tle narket lall is by seeing wlo
is reconnending wlo in tle narket lall. Il a custoner asks lor sone-
tling tlat you do not sell, tlen wlo do you reconnend· Just like in Clil-
lord Geertz`s descri¡tion ol tle bazaar econony, knowledge and contacts
are valuable assets in tle narket lall, botl lor custoners and lor vendors.
One way ol obtaining inlornation in tle bazaar is tlrougl clienteliza-
tion. Clientelization in Geertz`s descri¡tion ol tle bazaar econony is °a
resilient ¡attern ol inlornal ¡ersonal connectionsº based on reci¡rocity.
Vlat Geertz ¡oints to is low tlere never was a slar¡ break, instead tle
48. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tuesday, February 21, 2006.
chapter 10 280
tradition lron tle bazaar continued during tle hrn econony. Tley co-
existed side by side.

Tle ¡artici¡ants in tle bazaar econony, nucl like tle regular cus-
toners in tle narket lall, know tle etiquette ol interaction, and leel at
lone in tle bazaar. Tle clientelization nakes tle uncertainties ol tle
bazaar setting o¡erable. In a way, tle regular custoners and tle vendors
in tle narket lall establisl relationsli¡s ol trust and obligation sinilar
to tle ¡ersonal connections ol clientelization. Sone ol tle regular cus-
toners assune tlat they would never be deceived. But otler custoners
are deceived eitler because tley °do not know qualityº or because tley
are not regular custoners and tley nay tlus not ex¡ect tle sane kind ol
¡relerential treatnent tle regular custoners receive.

Tle non-standardized claracter ol tle assortnent in tle narket lall
nay also entail sus¡icions and anxieties. Vlen tle assortnent is not uni-
lorn or standardized, tlere nust be variations in quality, and tle idea
ol su¡rene quality in¡lies tlat tlere are also sub-quality itens. It also
entails tle idea ol ¡relerential treatnent, since tle best quality nay be re-
served lor certain ¡eo¡le. Tlis way ol tlinking about lood and lood retail
ecloes tle consun¡tion ¡atterns ol tle old ¡re-industrial urban lood
retail ol tle counter service store era. In tlose days, hnding your s¡ecial
grocer, butcler, etc, and renaining loyal to tlen was one way ol navi-
gating tle uncertainties ol a non-standardized, non-regulated lood nar-
ket. Tlereby one would lo¡elully get good quality lood, and get neitler
cleated nor ¡oisoned.
Ol course, tle narket lalls ol today are lar lron
tle counter service stores ol tle early 1900s. Tley are as leavily regulated
as tle rest ol tle lood trade, but tle ¡erce¡tion ol extraordinary quality
and ol autlenticity in ¡roduction netlods still ins¡ire a dillerent kind
ol trust.
Ve hnd tle sane kind ol reasoning anong tle vendors vis-à-vis tleir
su¡¡liers. One ol tle vendors ex¡lains to ne tlat it is in¡ortant to lave
contacts. Tlat is tle key to getting lold ol tle best quality ¡roducts. It
is in¡ortant as well tlat you lave ex¡erience and tle ¡rolessional know-
low. Food is a sensitive ¡roduct, you need to landle it witl care. Il tlere
las been sone nislandling, tle lood will go bad, but tlen you just send
it straiglt back, tle vendor ex¡lains to ne. Here we really know quality,
49. Geertz. C., °Tle Bazaar Lconony. Inlornation and Searcl in Peasant
Marketingº, The American Economic Review, Vol. 68, No. 2, Pa¡ers and Proceed-
ings ol tle Ninetietl Annual Meeting ol tle Anerican Lcononic Association
(May, 1978), ¡. 30.
50. Interview, Se¡tenber 9, 2005.
51. See lor exan¡le, Frencl, M. & Plilli¡sn J., Cheated not poisoned?
vendors 281
so tlere is never any ¡roblen lor us. Ve know low to landle tle lood and
il you do, tlen you can kee¡ tle custoner la¡¡y. Sone ¡eo¡le don`t like
hsl because tley are alraid ol bones, but we can hx tlat! Il you buy a hllet
ol hsl lron us, I can guarantee you tlat tlere will be no bones.
Tlis is a
way to landle tle uncertainties ol running your own con¡any in an un-
¡redictable world. It is also a way to ¡resent yoursell as a knowledgeable
¡rolessional wlo can discrininate tle good lron tle bad, and wlo ollers
ligl quality to tle custoners.
By hnding tle snall, s¡ecial su¡¡liers and tle snall-scale s¡ecial ¡rod-
ucts, vendors strive lor uniqueness and autlenticity. By laving tle riglt
selection ol ¡roducts and brands, tley also dis¡lay knowledge and taste.
One ol tle hsl vendors ex¡lains to ne tlat le always looks lor snall-scale
¡urveyors. He likes and res¡ects good, genuine craltsnansli¡. °Look at
tlis can ol lernented lerring!º le says entlusiastically. °I lound tlis in
a snall hsling village, done by a nan wlo nakes lis own lernented ler-
ring, just tle way tley used to nake it in tle old days. He las one ol tlese
old tinning naclines. Absolutely wonderlul!º

As we s¡eak, a hslernan lron tle nortl ol Sweden cones by and asks
il tle vendor las any cases lor crabs. °Ol, lobster cases· No, I just lave
tle salnon cases (le ¡oints to a ßinsy Styroloan box) and tle ¡lastic
bags, you know, lor hsl. You can lave as nany as you like ol tlose.º Tle
vendor and tle hslernan discuss a delivery. tle vendor wants tle deliv-
ery on a Monday (wlen tley usually don`t get any otler deliveries). Tle
hslernan is uncertain and ¡relers to give an answer later on.
Tle inter-
action is claracteristic ol tle kind ol snall-scale interactions outside tle
nain distribution circuit tlat tle vendor celebrates as a way ol naintain-
ing a nore autlentic set ol ¡urveyors. It is also a way to circunvent tle
drawbacks ol tle standard distribution networks, by asking lor deliveries
outside tle standard tines.
One ol tle vendors in Östernaln narket lall talks to ne about tle
s¡ecial larners wlo ¡roduce tle nost narvelous ¡oultry. Bjarekyck-
ling. Tle two brotlers wlo run tlis con¡any lave ¡ut in an anazing
anount ol work into ¡roducing ¡oultry ol ¡rine quality. In lact, tle ven-
dor tlinks tle ¡oultry lron Bjare is nucl better quality tlan tle Frencl
Bresse clickens. Tle Bresse clicken is delicious ol course, but tle ¡rice is
way too ligl in con¡arison to tle quality you get.
Tlis vendor is exlib-
iting tle sane celebration ol snall-scale ¡urveyors as lis colleague. Tle
52. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Monday, Novenber 7, 2005.
53. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Monday, Novenber 7, 2005.
54. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Novenber 7, 2005.
55. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Friday, October 21, 2005.
chapter 10 282
sense ol autlenticity is leigltened by lis ¡ersonal acquaintance witl tle
Sonetines tle quest lor uniqueness and autlenticity involves coo¡-
erating witl con¡etitors, botl lor getting tle riglt kind ol connodities
tlrougl eacl otler`s contacts and also to hnd ins¡iration lron wlat tle
con¡etitors do. On a Tuesday alternoon I talk to one ol tle owners ol tle
cleese store in Soderlallarna. A colleague in tle cleese trade, wlo la¡-
¡ens to be in Stockloln, ¡o¡s in to lave a clat and look at ler store. Sle
la¡¡ily slows lin tle store and I an invited to cone along. Togetler
tley look at tle setu¡ and tle dis¡lay ol tle goods, and discuss tle vari-
ous snall su¡¡liers tley use. °Ol, you use tlen, so do we. Ve are trying
tlis now. Yes, tlis is a really good way ol dis¡laying tle goods, it sells
itsell tlis way.º
Tley exclange news about connon acquaintances in tle cleese
world, and talk about wlat tley tlink about tle narket. Tley ex¡lain to
ne tlat tlere are inlornal networks ol su¡¡liers and in¡orters, at least
in tle cleese trade. He says tlat tle con¡etition in lis town is lerocious.
Sle tlinks tle con¡etition is just ins¡iring. Tley botl talk about low
tlere is roon lor tle snall su¡¡liers today. Peo¡le are looking lor tle
genuine, tle autlentic, and tlerelore tle snall-scale su¡¡liers lave a¡-
¡eal. Besides, tlese days even young ¡eo¡le lave an interest in lood. Tlere
are seventeen year olds wlo buy snall ¡ieces ol cleese ratler tlan large
¡ieces ol clea¡er cleese, tley ex¡lain to ne.
I hnd exactly tlat sane exan¡le ol seventeen year olds wlo buy snall
exclusive ¡ieces ol cleese in an article by tle loodie and lood writer Lisa
Forare-Vinbladl. Sle cites a cleese in¡orter tlat tle vendors in tle nar-
ket lalls use.
It is ¡art ol tle narket lall lore, tle stories vendors tell
tlenselves and tleir custoners to create a sense ol connunity and reas-
surance. It is alnost like an incantation lor tle re¡roduction ol a con-
nunity ol gastronones wlo will constitute tle basis ol tle narket lall
consuners, now and in tle luture.
Tle genuine, autlentic, and traditional skills are valued as a sign ol
true knowledge. Tlis also works as a way ol naintaining sociability and
a sense ol connunity anong tle vendors tlenselves. Tlis can be inter-
¡reted as a way ol nanaging tle un¡redictability ol snall business in tle
narket lall econony. Il we borrow tle notion ol tle Bazaar econony
lron Geertz again, tlis can be seen as a situation wlere bonds lold ¡eo-
¡le togetler and reassure tlen in tleir lunt lor intangible values sucl as
quality and autlenticity. It also suggests tle ¡roduction ol connunity.
56. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Tuesday, Novenber 22,
vendors 283
By creating and naintaining bonds ol lriendsli¡ and trust, tle ven-
dors nanage botl tleir knowledge and tleir contacts. Sone vendors go
lunting togetler witl tleir su¡¡liers or tle custoners. A vendor nay
also becone a su¡¡lier later on in lile, or a su¡¡lier can cone and work
as a vendor. As in nany otler ¡rolessions, tle lines between lriendsli¡
and business relationsli¡s are renegotiated and blurred by tle long-tern
claracter ol nany relationsli¡s. As seen in tle cla¡ter on custoners,
one way ol naintaining relationsli¡s is lor vendors to save ¡roducts lor
s¡ecial custoners. Tle bonds ol lriendsli¡ and trust are sonetines con-
hrned by ¡raise and gilts lron custoners. °You know wlen tley a¡¡reci-
ate wlat you do. Tley cone in and tell you so, sonetines tley also give
you gilts or ßowersº.
Tlis vendor actually neans tlat working in tle
narket lall nay o¡en u¡ lor a career in a dillerent held as well. once you
lave gotten to know custoners, tley can lel¡ you elsewlere as well.

Again, il we inter¡ret tlis lron tle ¡ers¡ective ol tle Bazaar econony
and clientelization, we see low tle roles kee¡ reversing. Vlo is tle ¡a-
tron and wlo is tle client clanges over tine.
Building credibility
Tle riglt kind ol business is run by tle riglt kind ol business ¡erson.
Vlo tle riglt kind ol ¡erson niglt be is o¡en to dehnition. On an indi-
vidual level, it is certainly an asset to lave ex¡erience in narket lall work.
Selling in tle o¡en air narket is anotler ¡ossible asset, but tlen you need
to conlorn to tle clinate inside tle narket lall, witl its nore so¡listi-
cated business ¡ractices (no yelling alter tle custoners is tle nost crucial
rule). To lave ex¡erience lron tle restaurant business is yet anotler suit-
able background, as is coning lron tle conventional retail trade, or bet-
ter still, lron one ol tle snall s¡ecialty stores outside tle narket lall.
To recount a long listory about tle narket lall, botl individually and
as a store, is usually a way to obtain res¡ect. But inleriting and nanaging
tradition is dilhcult. Tle bigger con¡anies tlat are nore like business
grou¡s (sucl as Melanders and Llnqvists) lave a nore lornal structure
tlan tle snaller businesses, wletler tley are lanily run or not. Tlis cre-
ates certain envy, and also gives rise to criticisn. Tley are not run tle
way you 'slould` run a slo¡ in a narket lall. Tley lave lost tlat sense
ol ¡ersonal service so ¡articular to tle narket lall, tlat cones witl tle
stall working long lours and taking ¡ersonal care ol tle custoners. Il a
custoner calls in tle norning, tle sane ¡erson slould be tlere to serve
57. Interview, January 9, 2006.
58. Interview, January 9, 2006.
chapter 10 284
tlen wlen tley cone and ¡ick tlings u¡ at six o`clock. It is not ¡ossible
to work nornal lours on a scledule and give °¡ro¡erº, ¡ersonal service.

Here snall size and ¡ersonal service are inextricably linked.
One ol tle vendors ex¡lains to ne tlat tle neiglboring vendors are
relics lron tle ¡ast. Tley never take u¡ anytling new. At tle sane tine,
le is anxious to ¡resent linsell as soneone wlo does tlings tle way
tlings slould be done. in a traditional way, lron scratcl. Lots ol tle otl-
er vendors do not. But tlose ¡eo¡le are good. Tley do tlings tle riglt
way. Ol course, tley sligltly overdo it - you don`t lave to do everything
yoursell. Tlat otler vendor, le really didn`t know low you do tlings
lere. No res¡ect lor otler ¡eo¡le. Just using and abusing everyone. And
tle tlings le sells. It is tle worst quality.
Tle con¡arisons and tle deh-
nitions ol wlo is good and wlo is not are ¡art ol an ongoing setting ol
Vendors in tle dillerent narket lalls are very curious about wlat is
going on in tle otler narket lalls. Tley ask about tle nunber ol ¡eo¡le,
low business seens in tle otler lalls. So low was it around Clristnas·
Laster· Vas it busy·
One ol tle vendors con¡ares two ol tle narket
lalls wlere sle works. Tlere are advantages witl botl. Hotorget narket
lall is older and nore establisled. It las a warner clinate, and tle ven-
dors coo¡erate nucl nore. Soderlallarna is good because it las dayliglt
and nore s¡ace. However, it will still take sone tine belore it establisl-
es tle sane clinate as Hotorget narket lall.
I discuss tradenark and
building u¡ your tradenark witl one ol tle vendors. He dehnes tle tlree
hsl vendors in Hotorget narket lall. tley all lave dillerent qualities. One
is a classical, traditional store. One is nininalist and trendy. Tle otler
is nore lor tle connon nan. I ask lin to ex¡lain wlat tlis neans, but
tlis turns out to be an in¡ossible task.
Tlis is lardly sur¡rising, it is a
tricky business to dehne wlo tle connon nan is, es¡ecially in a setting
tlat celebrates distinction, but needs to attract a wider clientele.
To con¡are tle narket lall and tle big lood retailers is one way ol
dehning wlo you are. One ol tle vendors ex¡lains to ne tlat le visited
tle new nanual neat counter in a big retailing clain. °Tley nade all
sorts ol ads lor tleir new nanual neat counter, you know, so I lad to
cleck it out. But it was ¡atletic. Just a lew ¡ieces ol neat and a nessy deli
59. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tuesday, February 21, 2006.
60. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tuesday, February 21, 2006.
61. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Vednesday, A¡ril 19,
62. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tlursday, A¡ril 20, 2006.
63. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tuesday, A¡ril 11, 2006.
vendors 285
counter. No sense ol style and craltsnansli¡º.
To con¡are yoursell to
tle large retailers and tle lood industry is a recurrent tlene anong tle
vendors wlen tley ex¡lain wlo tley are. One ol tle vendors takes ne lor
a grand tour. He slows ne tle storage roons, tle cold storage roons,
and tle kitclens. Here we do everytling tle riglt way, le ex¡lains to ne.
Not like in tle lactories. Ve do tlings tle way tlings lave always been
done, tle traditional way.
Tlis is all ¡art ol tle narket lall lore and tle
ongoing dehnition ol quality.
Tle level ol ¡ersonal services is also ¡ointed to as a dillerence between
tle large retailer clains and tle narket lalls. A vendor is discussing ser-
vice witl a custoner. °Vell, all vendors are dillerent. Tlere are tlose wlo
care. And tlose wlo don`t.º He slrugs lis sloulders and gives tle cus-
toner a look ol nutual understanding. °In tle narket lalls you neet
tlose wlo really, truly care. You niglt cone across tlen in ordinary
stores as well, but it is nucl nore unusual.º Tle custoner nods in la¡¡y
agreenent, °yes, tlat is true!º
Tlat tle level ol ¡ersonal service is ligler
is attributed to tle nature ol tle narket lall. In tle narket lall every-
tling is su¡¡osed to revolve around ¡ersonal relationsli¡s. °Personal
relationsli¡s! Tlat`s wlat tlis is all about. It`s not like tle big retailing
clains. Here you actually build a relationsli¡ witl tle custoners. It is
so nucl nore rewarding. Tle custoners know nucl nore about lood
and cooking and tley give you sonetling back.º
Tle vendor ex¡resses a
sense ol autlenticity and connunity tlat nay ex¡lain wly working in a
narket lall can be so rewarding des¡ite tle lard work.
Considering low tle big retailing clains are used as counter-exan-
¡les ol wlat tle narket lall stands lor, it niglt seen sur¡rising tlat so
nany ol tle vendors lave a background in tle big retailing clains. Il we
listen to tle stories tle vendors tlenselves tell about wlo tley are, and
tleir background, we will hnd tlat wlen tley lave a background in tle
big retailing clains tley are carelul to ¡oint out tlat tley always desired
sonetling more. One vendor ex¡lains tlat wlat le really liked about lis
store in a big retailing clain was tle nanual counter.

Anotler vendor wlo las a background in a big retailing clain ¡ut a
lot ol ellort into ex¡laining to ne tle vast dillerences in quality between
64. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Vednesday, A¡ril 19,
65. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Vednesday, February 22,
66. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Vednesday, Marcl 22,
67. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Vednesday, May 10, 2006.
68. Interview, February 22, 2006.
chapter 10 286
tle lood in tle narket lall and tle lood sold in tle big retailing clains.

One ol tle vendors s¡eaks ol lis boss, wlo las a background in tle retail-
ing clains, and le is eager to ¡oint out tlat tlis nan is very con¡etent,
tlat le las an acute sense ol quality, and besides, le started out lere in
tle narket lall ten years ago.
Tlis way tle credibility ol tle vendor is re-
establisled and tle background in tle big retailing clains is reconciled
witl tle identity in tle narket lall, witl tle narket lall coning out as
tle winner.
Tlere are several ¡ossible ways to aclieve tle credibility ol being a
quality store and a knowledgeable vendor. A knowledgeable vendor knows
tlat tle origin ol loods las a value. For exan¡le, one vendor can assure
a custoner wlo asks wlere tle eel is lron. °Tle eel cones lron Dalaro.
Cauglt and snoked riglt on Dalaro.º Tle custoner is la¡¡y about tle
inlornation and leels tlat le is really getting tle °real stull º.
Tlis in
itsell is not enougl. Tle vendor wlo is to be able to answer questions and
discuss teclniques witl tle custoners, gains credibility. How do tle ven-
dors ¡re¡are tle lood· Vlat kind ol tools do tley, tle custoners, need in
tle kitclen· Do tle vendors use s¡ecial cutting boards· Il so, wlicl ones·
And wlat about tle knives· Vlicl ones do tle vendors reconnend·

A legitinate vendor is able to advise custoners on tle aestletic as-
¡ects ol gastronony as well, as wlen tley suggest venison hllet witl
sugar sna¡s and rowanberries, and s¡eak about low tlis creates a beauti-
lul and delicious conbination tlat will ¡lease tle ¡alate and tle eyes ol
tle dinner guests.
Tlese exclanges ol questions and answers reassure
tle custoners tlat tley are s¡eaking witl an ex¡ert. But talk needs to
be backed by actual, denonstrable craltsnansli¡ and knowledge in tle
land. A good vendor knows low to debone clickens quickly, or low to
cut u¡ neat nicely. It is a very ¡ractical lorn ol knowledge, cou¡led witl
tle ability to talk about wlat you do.
Again we see low knowledge and
ex¡ertise are at work. Tlere is a dillerent inter¡retation ol rationality
lron tle big conventional sell-service stores. It ol course s¡eaks ol a dil-
lerent inter¡retation ol quality as well.
69. Interview, January 9, 2006.
70. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tuesday, Marcl 21, 2006.
71. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Friday, Decenber 23, 2005.
72. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Vednesday, Decenber 28,
73. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tlursday, Decenber 29,
74. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tlursday, Decenber 29,
vendors 287
One ol tle lallnarks ol a good vendor is tle ability to read tle cus-
toner, to know tle codes in tle narket lall. Tlis ¡revents tle recruitnent
ol innigrants in Östernaln narket lall, according to one vendor.
exan¡le ol tlis sense ol reading tle custoner is about clanging lron
tle laniliar you in Swedisl to tle ¡olite you, il you sense tlat tle cus-
toner denands it.
Tle good salesnan is able to sense low tle custoner
wants to be treated. One ol tle vendors in Hotorget narket lall and lis
interactions witl two elderly ladies nay serve as an exan¡le ol low to
read tle custoner. He addresses tlen as °ny ladiesº, sniles a lot and
nakes all sorts ol jokes. One ol tle ladies wants to buy a ¡âté lor a gentle-
nan lriend. He is very ¡articular you see, sle ex¡lains to tle vendor. Tle
otler lady looks at a salani sausage and connents tlat it is truly divine
(tlis ¡articular salani la¡¡ens to lave a sign next to it wlere tle lorner
owner clains. °So divine it brings tears to your eyesº). Tle vendor sniles
a¡¡reciatively and says °yes, tlat`s true. Do tle ladies want sone sala-
ni·º Tle ¡rice is quite ¡rolibitive, SLK 400 ¡er kilo, so le suggests tlat
tley buy lall tle anount ol salani, or just 100 grans. He ollers tlen
san¡les, and alter tasting tley botl sigl witl deliglt. Tlen tley turn to
tle serious natter ol tle riglt ¡âté. Tle vendor tlinks tlat a Halnstad
¡âté will be just ¡erlect. It is tle best ¡âté, il tle gentlenan is a gournet.
Tlis is wlat le would want. Sle ends u¡ buying a sligltly bigger ¡iece ol
¡âté tlan sle intended to, and lall tle salani. You are so clarning lere!
And you know so nucl! No wonder I always end u¡ buying nore tlan I
¡lanned! But it is a treat. Tlank you!º

As tle narket lall celebrates tle older ideals ol counter service, tlis
can be seen as a reconnection witl tle older traditions. During tle inter-
war ¡eriod, trade journals actively souglt to establisl a good store cul-
ture. Tle trade journals ollered advice on low to becone a good vendor,
tlere were educational hlns on low to belave in tle store, and tle trade
associations arranged courses in sales teclniques and good nanners. Ve
can see tlis as an atten¡t to install a sense ol ¡rolession lor tle nen and
wonen ol tle retail trade. Vlen tle sell-service stores hrst a¡¡eared, tle
advice on low to act in tle new setting abounded. Tle ¡relerred styles
ol interaction clanged, as did tle denands on tle stall ol tle new su-
¡ernarkets. Vorking in a su¡ernarket was translorned into sonetling
anyone could do witlout nucl training or connitnent.

75. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Vednesday, Novenber 23,
76. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tuesday, February 21, 2006.
77. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tuesday, Marcl 21, 2006.
78. Kvist, L., Stormarknadens nya maktordningar.
chapter 10 288
To bring your best sell to work is not only a nanagenent lad in tle
narket lalls. In any case, tle vendors do ¡ut u¡ a good slow. Lven wlen
it is late and alter closing tine, I see one ol tle vendors selling tlings,
snilingly, jokingly. He calls wonen °ny ladiesº or says °lello girlsº to
wonen in tleir hlties. He addresses nen as °nonsieurº or asks nen in
tleir sixties °wlat can I do lor you, young nanº. Tle custoners liglten
u¡ and snile a lot to lin. His addresses also o¡en u¡ lor clit clat in a
lriendly nanner. I talked to tle vendor belore tle last wave ol custoners
cane along, and le was extrenely tired tlis day. None ol tlis le slows
to tle custoners, wlo leave lis store witl hlled bags and sniles on tleir

It is in¡ortant to be 'strong` and lave an 'iron constitution.` Illness is
inter¡reted as a sign ol weakness, and it is in¡ortant to ¡oint out tlat you
are never ill. A worn out knee lowever is considered a sign ol lard work
and is a legitinate reason lor being out ol work at least lor tle hrst days
alter tle o¡eration.
Vlen I worry about tle ergononics ol working in
tle basenent storage roon, carrying leavy cases lull ol lrozen neat, tle
vendor just sniles and ex¡lain tlat it is no ¡roblen. He is strong.

Vlen I interview a lorner vendor wlo started working in tle narket
lalls in tle 1950s, and wlo still continues to cone in and °lel¡ outº
sonetines, le talks about otler vendors wlo worked well into tleir 80s
°and tlere never was anytling wrong witl tlese ¡eo¡le. Tley were never
ill. Ol course, tleir bodies were acling and tleir leet were worn out, but
tley continued to work. Tlat`s tle kind ol ¡eo¡le you don`t hnd any
To snall entre¡reneurs, serious illness and inca¡acity to work
are incongruent witl tleir closen lile-style. Inca¡acity to work over a lon-
ger ¡eriod critically tlreatens tle survival ol tle business itsell. Accidents
and over-work wlicl causes lealtl ¡roblens need to be ke¡t at bay. Vlen
tlings do la¡¡en, it creates uneasiness. °is it really wortl it all·º
issues ol ergononics and larsl working conditions witl long lours and
lard stone ßoors take on a dillerent neaning.
Vlat we see lere is ratler a ¡articular ty¡e ol etlic. To be lard-work-
ing, lonest, and willing to coo¡erate witl tle otler vendors are esteened
qualities ol tle riglt kind ol vendors. De¡ending on ¡ersonal likings and
79. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tlursday, A¡ril 20, 2006.
80. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Hotorget narket lall, Soder-
lallarna narket lall, 2006.
81. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tuesday, February 22, 2006.
82. Interview, October 19, 2006.
83. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tuesday, February 7, 2006.
vendors 289
ten¡orary business dealings, tle leelings ol nutual res¡ect vary.
Tle ol-
hcial version is always tlat all tle vendors are good vendors. Tlat a¡¡lies
unless tle desire to reveal low nucl you know about tle workings ol tle
narket lall turns tle olhcial version into a less rosy one. Dehning your-
sell and otlers as a good business¡erson and a good vendor is essential to
building credibility in tle eyes ol tle connunity ol vendors. To gain tle
a¡¡roval ol your lellow vendors, you also need to gain tle a¡¡roval ol tle
custoners (albeit, not at tle ex¡ense ol your lellow vendors by engaging
in illicit or disloyal trade ¡ractices).
Tle inlornal ¡lays an in¡ortant role in tle narket lall setting. In
snall businesses tlere is a tendency to recruit lriends and lanily hrst.
Sone vendors s¡eak about recruiting ¡eo¡le wlen tley are young, and
tlen letting tlen work as a¡¡rentices. Most recruitnent la¡¡ens via
¡ersonal contacts. You know sone one wlo works in tle narket lall and
you start oll eitler by working extra or lull tine. One ol tle vendors ex-
¡lains tlat lis older sister recruited lin. Sle already works tlere and
knows tle owner.

Tle inlornal a¡¡roacl leaves roon lor discussions about wlat tle
work in¡lies. Tle young nan recruited by lis older sister ex¡lains low
tle job las lel¡ed lin enornously. He las becone nucl nore outgo-
ing and cleerlul. °You lave to learn low to ¡erlorn, low to talk to all
sorts ol ¡eo¡le. Tlere is no tine lor being sly, and instead you develo¡ a
¡rolessional sell and tlen il you like tlis ¡rolessional sell, you can let it
s¡ill over to all your relationsli¡s.º Tlere are tle additional benehts ol
learning nore about tle trade itsell. He really enjoys tlat too. Tle owner
s¡eaks nore about tle in¡ortance ol taking res¡onsibility. Sle is a big
sister and las always taken a lot ol res¡onsibility. But ol course it is in-
¡ortant to learn to set u¡ a laçade ol niceness and la¡¡iness, even il you
are leeling sad and de¡ressed. To say tlings just to be agreeable. °Perla¡s
you say tlat tlis is your lavorite il tle custoner says it is tleirs.º But nost
ol all it is a question ol working lard to succeed.

84. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tuesday, February 21, 2006.
85. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Vednesday, A¡ril 19,
2006, Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tlursday, A¡ril 20, 2006.
86. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Vednesday, A¡ril 19,
2006, Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tlursday, A¡ril 20, 2006.
See also Hoclsclild, A. R., The managed heart.
chapter 10 290
Visual and spatial techniques
According to nost vendors, attracting custoners is a question ol attract-
ing tle eye hrst. A sensual dis¡lay ol tle lood is essential. Tle vendors
cone early in tle norning, and nucl attention and dedication is invested
in tle dis¡lay ol tle loodstulls. Vlat hsl looks good next to wlat otler
hsl today· How nucl ice slould you ¡ut in tle counters· Vlere do you
¡ut tle ready-cooked itens· Tle glass ol tle counters is ¡olisled, and
tle order ol tle dis¡lay is carelully clecked belore o¡ening lours.
¡rocess continues during tle day. On a Monday alternoon in Marcl, tle
lead clel cones u¡ lron tle kitclen in tle basenent to discuss tle sales
as well as tle dis¡lays witl tle vendor u¡stairs. Maybe tley slould rear-
range tle hsl in lorizontal lines ratler tlan tle vertical lines tley lave
now· Perla¡s ¡ut tle hllet ol hsl like tlis, alnost like a wall, and tlen
¡ut tle wlole hsl around tle hllets· Tley also ¡lan low nany luncles to
¡re¡are lor tonorrow. Tley also discuss low to sell nore ol tlis ¡articu-
lar disl, wlicl is really delicious, but doesn`t look es¡ecially a¡¡etizing.
Vlat do tley need to order·

How do you get tle lruits and vegetables to look a¡¡ealing· One ven-
dor says tlat tley take care ol tleir vegetables °like tley were babiesº.
Tlis is absolutely necessary, sle ex¡lains, since tle aestletics are nore
in¡ortant tlan tle gustatory sensations to nany ol tle custoners. Sle
tlen reiterates one ol tle nost recurrent tlenes in tle narket lalls. tlat
you eat witl your eyes, tle ¡rinacy ol tle visual. I an allowed to cone
to tle backroon to see low tle vegetables rest in dan¡ towels to kee¡
noist and lresl. Tlese towels are continually clanged. Tle walnuts and
lazelnuts are sold lron large sacks ol jute clotl witl tle nane ol tle
Frencl grower in¡rinted on tle side.
All lruit and vegetable vendors
take great care to dis¡lay tleir goods in a larnonious and colorlul way.
One ol tlen tells ne tlat le las a background lron tle o¡en air nar-
kets, °wlere you really learn low to dis¡lay your goods or you sin¡ly go
out ol business. But it is nucl calner in lere and a nucl better clinate
lor tle lruit and vegetables.º

87. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Vednesday, February 22,
88. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Monday, Marcl 6, 2006.
89. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Vednesday, Novenber 23,
90. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Vednesday, Marcl, 22,
vendors 291
Cleeses are uncovered and readjusted. Sonetines tle entire cleese
set u¡ is altered to leave roon lor new arrivals, or to kee¡ s¡ecial cleeses
lor regular custoners. It is in¡ortant to hnd tle riglt balance between
cleeses ol various sizes, sla¡es, and colors, in order to nake tle counter
look ten¡ting, and yet not encunbered or badly arranged. Tle custoner
las to be able to hnd tle cleeses as well. Sone ol tle cleeses lave little
signs. Sonetines tlere are suggestions written on black slate. Honeys
and jans can be ¡laced next to cleeses tley accon¡any ¡articularly well,
all to suggest delicious conbinations to tle custoners, and also to re-
nind tle vendors ol additional sales o¡¡ortunities.
Tle delicatessen counter transnits a leeling ol abundance, witl a
nass ol sausages and lans in dillerent colors, sla¡es, and sizes. Tley are
¡iled u¡ in nountain-like lornations, and tle ends ol tle sausages and
lans are carelully tended to in tle norning to nake sure tley look a¡-
¡etizing. Tle neat las its own aestletic, as do tle lowl and gane. Meat
needs to look juicy and lresl. Tle riglt, briglt red color can be aclieved
il you scra¡e tle surlace ol tle neat a little bit. Tle vendors need to hnd
tle riglt balance between big cuts ol neat and ¡ortion sizes. An in¡or-
tant consideration is wlicl itens look good next to one anotler. At one
vendor, tle lanb racks are arranged next to tle lanb clo¡s and a beauti-
lul row ol lanb sausage alnost like a ladder next to a nountain ol lreslly
ninced lanb neat. Tle hllet ol reindeer is next to tle steaks, and tle
clicken wings are nicely ¡iled u¡ next to a neat row ol clicken breasts
and clicken breast hllets, all in various slades ol liglt ¡inkisl wlite or
gold. Tle landling ol tle neat, lowl, and gane, sucl as tle cutting and
trinning, are also ¡art ol tle activities during tle day. It works botl as a
way ol ¡erlorning necessary tasks, and also as a way ol staying occu¡ied
so as to attract tle custoners. tlis store is busy so its loodstulls nust be
Most stores buy large ¡ieces ol neat and do tle cutting tlenselves.
Tlis is ¡art ol tle craltsnansli¡. doing tlings lron scratcl. Il you can`t
¡luck a lowl, you are not truly cut out to work in a lowl and gane store.
In reality, tle ¡lucking ol lowls and tle ßaying ol gane are nostly done
outside tle narket lall nowadays, as tle rules and regulations and tle
linited s¡ace ¡revent tlis. Perla¡s also tle aestletic sensitivities ol tle
custoners are better ke¡t away lron tle actual ßaying, even il tle rabbits
are sold witl tiny bits ol lur at tle botton ol tle leet.
All ol tlis can be inter¡reted as a way to nanage tle visual in¡res-
sions and tle s¡atial arrangenents ol tle narket lall stores. Ol course,
tlis a¡¡lies to any connercial setting, tley all lave tleir s¡ecial s¡atial
constraints. Tle vendors ada¡t to tle innediate surroundings. Vlen
tle ßorist in Östernaln narket lall was re¡laced by a Lebanese catering
chapter 10 292
and deli, tle store next to it relurnisled and o¡ened u¡ nore towards tle
side wlere tlere would be nore con¡etition, i.e. towards tle new Leba-
nese catering and deli. Tlis way, tle vendors could sell on tlis side as well,
lacing tleir con¡etitor. Tle ready nade disles were also noved into tlis
corner. Tle new store ins¡ired tle older establisled one into a renovation
and a reinvention ol its ¡revious conce¡t.

Tle new hsl vendor in Hotorget narket lall lad tle sane ellect on
tle older, nore establisled con¡etitor. Tle new store lad a con¡lete
nake-over and went lor ¡ure ex¡ression, witl elegant liglting and new
ideas about low to dis¡lay tle lood, witl nore s¡ace and nore ice to
nake tle hsl stand out nore. One ol tle owners in tle old store con-
nents on tlis as we clit clat about lile in Hotorget narket lall. °I tlink
it is tine to clange tle liglting hxtures lere. Look at tlen (le ¡oints to
tle neiglboring store), tley lave sone lancy liglts and it attracts tle eye,
doesn`t it·º

Tlis visual s¡ace nanagenent ol tle counter itsell and ol tle entire
store, as well as in relation to tle neiglboring stores, is an atten¡t to con-
trol low otlers, botl custoners and otler vendors, ¡erceive tle work you
do and tle store you run. Tlis is a kind ol an advanced ty¡e ol in¡ression
nanagenent, wlicl takes otler lorns as well. Tle sell-inage ol tle store
is olten carelully nanaged. News¡a¡er cli¡¡ings about tle store are usu-
ally ke¡t, and in tle case ol tle snaller stores, dis¡layed so tlat custon-
ers see tlen.
One ol tle vendors las been interviewed by tle radio. He
ex¡lains to ne tlat a custoner wlo leard tle slow cane all tle way lron
Norrtalje just to buy neat lron lin. °Tlat`s good! Lven il le does not
cone back every week, it is still good, riglt·º
Tlere is an article about
one ol tle vendors in tle largest norning ¡a¡er, DN. Tle day alter tle
article tle store is lull ol ¡eo¡le. It is lard to tell il it is due to tle article
or to tle lact tlat it is Tlursday ol tle Laster week.

Many vendors seen sinultaneously ßattered by and blasé towards tle
attention tley receive lron tle nedia. To receive nedia coverage niglt be
an asset, but one is carelul not to reveal too nucl. One never knows low
it is going to be used. Sone vendors are nore ¡ositive tlan otlers to tle
nedia and to attention in general. Most olten tley ¡atiently answer ques-
tions lron tle nedia, as well as lron sclool clildren and older students,
91. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tuesday, February 21, 2006.
92. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Monday, Novenber 7, 2005.
93. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tuesday, February 7, 2006.
94. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Vednesday, A¡ril 12,
95. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tlursday, A¡ril 13, 2006.
vendors 293
in ¡articular lron restaurant sclools. Just belore New Years, I observe
sone students lron Grytlyttan restaurant sclool, two sonneliers and
two restaurant and neal students. Tley are hlning and ¡re¡aring two
nenus as ¡art ol an assignnent, a Danisl and a Swedisl nenu. Tley are
discussing wlat to use, wlat to buy, and wlat to docunent by hln, but
tley do not ask tle vendors to ¡artici¡ate or ask lor tleir advice. Instead
tley are locused on tleir assignnent and on being ex¡erts tlenselves.

In¡ression nanagenent is a delicate business. Tlere are always inßu-
ences lron outside tle vendors` control, sucl as trends and laslions. Tle
vendors nention tlat custoners are inßuenced by trends tley ¡ick u¡ in
tle nedia. Now all ol a sudden everyone wants dark clocolate. Or tley
lave read about a certain kind ol oil, and tley want tlat ¡articular oil.
Tley like to slow you tlat tley know tlings, one ol tle vendors ex¡lains
to ne. You can just tell wlen sonetling las been on TV, because tlen ev-
eryone asks lor tlat. For exan¡le, ¡erla¡s tley lave leard about linseed
oil, so tlen tlat becones tle new craze. It is alnost absurd wlen ¡eo¡le
dare not go outside tle reci¡es and in¡rovise.

To build credibility, you need to consune wlat you sell. Or ratler to
appear to consune wlat you sell. One ol tle owners ex¡lains to ne tlat
le takes lis stall to a trulße tasting at Pontus (Pontus in tle Greenlouse,
a lanous gournet restaurant in Stockloln wlicl is now closed). An-
otler vendor jokes witl ne about tle ¡rine quality ol a good vendor
being tle ca¡acity to lie in order to sell well. Tlen le corrects linsell
and says tlat wlat is in¡ortant is to know tle ¡roducts. Tlat is wly
it usually works so well wlen tle su¡¡liers cone in and work extra lor
Clristnas, lor exan¡le. Since tley know tleir ¡roducts, tley nay talk
nore about tle ¡roducts. Tlere are vendors wlo lunt and wlo also sell
wild gane. Tlis adds to tleir legitinacy as vendors. Not only do tley sell
tle ¡roducts, tley actually obtain tlen tle °realº way, i.e. by lunting. To
lave clels en¡loyed wlo can discuss lood and cooking witl tle custon-
ers contributes to building credibility lor a store. It conveys tle idea tlat
tle store las access to ex¡erts, and tlat tlis is ¡art ol tle service tley
are ollering tleir custoners. Tlere is nore selling lobster tlan eating it
anong stall. Tlere is also quite a bit ol selling hsl, but not eating it. Tle
vendors ex¡lain tlat you get led u¡ witl hsl il you sell it all day. So tle
nost in¡ortant tling is to clain tlat you do eat tle ¡roducts you sell, il
your role is tlat ol tle ex¡ert. One ol tle vendors actually used lis own
96. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Decenber 28, 2005.
97. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Vednesday, A¡ril 19,
chapter 10 294
clildren and tleir tastes as argunents lor selling nore reindeer hllet to
a custoner.

But to a¡¡ear to consune wlat tley sell and tlus gain credibility, tle
vendors need to convey and ¡reserve tle inage ol tlenselves as ¡articu-
larly con¡etent. As we lave seen above, tlis is done in nany dillerent
ways. It is not only a question ol what you do, but also how you do wlat you
do, and how you speak ol wlat you do. One ol tle vendors con¡ares gas-
tronony and nusicality. To be able to tell wlat tle cows lave been eating
wlen you taste a cleese, you would lave to lave absolute gastrononic
¡itcl. But tlere are so nany dillerent nuances in tle s¡ectrun between
tlat extrene and not caring about lood at all. Tle new owner las a lot ol
con¡etence. He sends back lood tlat does not taste riglt. Tlat`s good.
He doesn`t want to sell tlings tlat are not ¡erlect. Lven il nost custoners
wouldn`t notice, le takes res¡onsibility. He las a sensitive ¡alate.
successlul s¡ace and in¡ression nanagenent are tle loundations lor tle
vendors` as¡irations to credibility. Tlis credibility is in itsell ¡art ol tle
loundation u¡on wlicl tle vendors ex¡ect tle custoners to believe in
tlen, to trust tlen as guarantors ol ¡rine quality. In otler words, tlese
are tle loundations lor an econony ol trust.
An economy of trust
Tlere is an ideal about low you as a vendor slould landle tle ¡roducts
and low you slould cloose your ¡roducts, as well as your ¡roducers and
su¡¡liers. Tle ideal ¡rescribes a return to basics, and doing tlings lron
scratcl no seni-nanulactured ingredients. Snall-scale artisanal ¡ro-
ducers are sonetines used as assets, as indicators ol tlis return to basics.
Using snall-scale ¡roducers evokes certain values, wlere tle clea¡ su¡er-
narkets broilers are contrasted witl snall-scale ¡roducers like Bjareds-
lagel and tleir su¡erior quality corn-led clicken. °Once you lave tried
tlen, tlere is no going back to tle clea¡ broilers. I know tle guy wlo
¡roduces tlese clickens and le is really good at lis job.º
Tlat tle ven-
dor knows tle ¡roducer in ¡erson enlances tle credibility and tle leeling
ol autlenticity and trust.
Vlen vendors con¡are wlicl snall-scale ¡roducers tley endorse and
give eacl otler suggestions on otler artisans wlose ¡roducts tley like,
98. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Vednesday, Decenber 28,
99. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tuesday, Marcl 21, 2006.
100. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Saturday, October 22,
vendors 295
tlis can be inter¡reted botl as a searcl lor autlenticity and a searcl lor
Tlis locus on tle snall-scale, tle genuine, and tle autlentic
creates a sense ol exclusiveness, but also a sense ol assurance. Tle ¡er-
sonal contacts between vendors and su¡¡liers, and between vendors and
consuners, ide ally create bonds ol trust, an econony ol trust.
Tlis love ol tle snall-scale nanilests itsell, lor exan¡le, wlen a cus-
toner asks il tle clicken was la¡¡y. He wants to lear tlat tle clicken
does not cone lron one ol tle big lactory larns tlat le las seen on TV.
Instead le wants to be reas sured tlat tle clicken las lad a good lile,
tlat it las grown u¡ witl its notler and las lad tle clance to scratcl
in a clicken yard witl lresl grass and worns, like clickens in clildren`s
books. Tle vendor answers tlat tlis clicken was dehnitely la¡¡y, and
tle custoner seens satished.
Here tle lood is given an identity in an
oll-land way. Tle vendor voucles lor tle clicken it was a la¡¡y click-
en and tle custoner is satished by lis answer.
A recurring tlene in tle discussions ol quality anong vendors and
custoners is tlat ol tle snall-scale, artisanal and ligl quality vs. tle
large-scale, industrial and low quality. Tle Frencl econonist Gilles Al-
laire invites us to look at quality in lood systens in terns ol con¡eting
logics ol quality in dillerent systens ol distribution and retail. Il tle large
cor¡orate retailers nay be described in terns ol a logic ol decon¡osi-
tion, a sort ol Taylorization ol tle netlods ol lood ¡roduction and a
standardization ol tle lood ¡roducts, tlen tlere is a con¡etitive lorn ol
logic ¡resent in tle narket lalls. Ve nay view tlis as a logic ol identity. a
lolistic view tlat quality encon¡asses all as¡ects ol lood, aestletics, etl-
ics, sociality, ¡u rity, naturalness, and so lortl.
Tle ¡ractical reality olten calls lor a carelul consideration ol tle rela-
tion quality ¡rice kee¡ing qualities. Tlis relation deternines nore
tlan any anbition to source ¡rinarily lron snall-scale ¡roducers. In tlis
value systen, tle ¡rinary ¡roduce is valued ligler tlan tle ready-cooked
lood, botl as a sign ol knowledge ol lood and cooking, and as a nore
genuine lorn ol lile. In tle old days, everyone knew low to cook. Tle
lousewives really knew low to cook. Tle younger generations do not. At
tle sane tine, nany vendors agree tlat tle narket lall survives because
¡eo¡le buy convenience. For exan¡le, tley buy garlic butter or creaned
101. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Tuesday, Novenber 22,
102. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tuesday, February 22,
103. Allaire, G., ºQuality in econonics. a cognitive ¡ers¡ectiveº, In M. Harvey,
A. McMeekin & A. Varde (eds.), Qualities of food.
chapter 10 296
norels, or tle innensely ¡ractical lood duck liver ¡âté. Tley buy tle
ready-cooked neals, even il it is actually botl quicker and clea¡er to just
lry u¡ a hsl, as one vendor ¡ut it. Tley buy it because tley don`t know
better. Tley don`t know low to cook.
Tlere is a ga¡ between tle ideals ol starting lron scratcl and tle
¡ractice ol tle ready-cooked. Here tle discussions about quality becone
a¡¡arent. Tle stall discusses quality, and low you know tle dillerence
between good and bad quality. Tley also discuss tle need to educate tle
custoners, and lel¡ tlen realize tle dillerence between good and bad
quality. Here tleir ex¡ertise becones an asset. botl a service and a gilt to
tle custoners.
Tle vendors take res¡onsibility lor tleir custoners, and
leel tle obligation to inlorn about low to ¡re¡are lood. Tley take tle
tine to ex¡lain tlat tle Clristnas sausage is still uncooked, and slould
be treated as raw neat even as tle lines ol ¡eo¡le kee¡ hlling u¡ in tle
Clristnas rusl.

Tle res¡onsibility taken by tle vendors is tle loundation lor tle
econony ol trust in tle narket lall world. Tlere is an ideal ol nutual
conhdence and trust in tle relationsli¡ witl tle custoner. Tlis trust is
qualihed as se¡arate lron tle kind ol trust tlat is critical to nodernity as
a wlole. Tle trust lere is ol a nore ¡ersonal claracter, and is contrasted
witl tle in¡ersonal logic ol tle big su¡ernarket clains. Personal trust
is judged to be ol a ligler order tlan tle in¡ersonal trust tlat we ¡ut
in lood salety on a national level. You risk laving to actually neet tle
¡erson wlo las sullered lron nistakes or lrauds on your ¡art lace to
lace. Tlis view is to a large extent slared by tle custoners, but tle lood
narket is not only nade u¡ ol custoners and vendors. Tlere are also
autlorities wlo lave a res¡onsibility on a nunici¡al level to nake sure
tlat tle lood salety standards are net in tle narket lall, and tley o¡er-
ate according to a logic wlicl does not recognize tle econony ol trust in
tle narket lalls.
In lis dissertation on country slo¡kee¡ers, Lars Kaijser relers to a
clange in tle law tlat took ¡lace wlen le was doing lis heldwork in tle
1990s. Tle slo¡kee¡ers were tlen asked to engage in a systen ol sell-con-
trol and ¡ay a lee lor tlis to tle nunici¡al autlorities. Many saw tlis as a
double insult. First ol all, it was ¡rovocative to ¡ay lor sonetling you did
not receive anytling lor. Secondly, it was an insult to ask tlen to cleck
tle lreezers. It was sucl an obvious tling to do anyway. All slo¡kee¡ers
104. Autlor`s heldnotes, Soderlallarna narket lall, Tuesday, Decenber 20,
105. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Vednesday, Decenber 21,
vendors 297
lave to do tlis, otlerwise tle goods will be degraded and tle custon-
ers will not cone back. Slo¡kee¡ers routinely clecked tle ten¡erature
eitler by land or by tlernoneter. To obey all tle rules would be in¡os-
sible, everyone knows tlat. Rules and regulations and tle realities ol daily
¡ractice were not con¡atible in tle eyes ol tle slo¡kee¡ers.
Tlis is
sinilar to tle argunents lron tle narket lall vendors, wlo sonetines
leel betrayed and questioned in tleir ¡rolessional con¡etence and lonor
wlen tle autlorities want to cleck on tlen.
On a Tuesday norning in February, I talk to one ol tle vendors in
Östernaln narket lall. He is very worried about tle Public Healtl Board
ins¡ectors. °Soon we will not be able to do anytling any nore! You won`t
be able to hllet hsl, or anytling! And it is a narket lall alter all. I tlink
it is so unlair, it is only tle Nordic countries wlo obey by tlese silly LU
regulations anyway.º
Tlis idea, tlat it is only tle Nordic countries, and
Sweden in ¡articular, wlo obey tle LU rules and regulations, seens to
be widely leld in tle narket lalls. I lave been invited to cone along to
tle basenent to see low tle vendors ¡re¡are lood in tleir kitclens, and
tle conversation turns to tle Public Healtl Board ins¡ectors. All ol tle
vendors con¡lain about Sweden being so intent on lollowing rules. °Tlis
leads to unlair con¡etition in tle end,º says one ol tle vendors. Tle otler
vendors agree, and tley take turns in telling ne about unlair and ridicu-
lous tlings tle Public Healtl Board ins¡ectors lave said and done. But at
tle sane tine, tley understand tle ins¡ectors, and tlat tley are only try-
ing to do tleir job. It is tle rules tlat are lrustrating, and tle bureaucrats
wlo do not understand low tle vendors work. Tley are ¡rolessionals.
Tley are taking good care ol tleir loodstulls. It is ¡art ol tleir agreenent
witl tle custoners, tle loundation ol tle econony ol trust.

In February 2006, tle Public Healtl Board ins¡ectors lad not yet
started tleir ins¡ection ol Östernaln narket lall, and I ask around a bit.
Most vendors in Östernaln narket lall are lairly relaxed. °Ol, well, tley
are just doing tleir job. Ve will ada¡t. Tlere are sone new rules. A lew
nore signs to ¡ut u¡. Maybe we need to wear ¡lastic gloves. At any rate,
we will nanage.º
Tle vendors know tley lave to ada¡t to tle rules. But
tle ins¡ectors lron tle Public Healtl Board can still be viewed witl ske¡-
ticisn. Tle rules and restrictions tley ¡ut on tle vendors are sonetines
106. Kaijser, L., Lanthandlare, ¡. 78-79.
107. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tuesday, February 21,
108. Autlor`s heldnotes, Hotorget narket lall, Tuesday, A¡ril 11, 2006.
109. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tuesday, February 21,
chapter 10 298
¡erceived as insults. °Do tley really tlink I would want to larn ny cus-
toners·º Tlis view is ¡artly slared by tle Market Hall Board adninistra-
tors, wlo tlink tle Public Healtl Board ins¡ectors can be overzealous. As
tle narket lalls are under nunici¡al oversiglt, tle Public Healtl Board
ins¡ectors seen to leel tlat tley will encounter nore understanding
tlere. Tle Market Hall Board adninistrators nean tlat tle narket lall
vendors are nucl nore vulnerable to tle o¡inions ol tleir custoners
tlan tle big retailers. Tley sin¡ly cannot allord to lose tleir custoners,
and tley nust take nucl greater care ol tleir goods to nake sure tlere
are no scandals or lood ¡oisonings.

One ol tle vendors cones u¡ witl a cons¡iracy tleory regarding tle
Public Healtl Board ins¡ectors. °Tlere nust lave been a large nunber
en¡loyed to landle tle nad cow disease crisis. Tlen you lave to hnd en-
¡loynent lor tlese ¡eo¡le, riglt· Tle LU gives tle Public Healtl Board
all sorts ol directives to nake tlings worse lor every one. Take tlis wlole
business witl tle kitclens. How are you su¡¡osed to nake sure tlat all
tle kitclens lave an entrance and an exit· In a louse tlat is a listed build-
ing· You can`t do anytling. Besides tle entire Luro¡ean ¡roject is a ness.
It niglt lave worked as long as it was a club lor tle wealtly. Now it will
go to ¡ieces. Tle LU ¡roject is just a big lassle lor ordinary ¡eo¡le. Tle
rules are lo¡eless, and it is only tle Swedes wlo obey by tlen. In all otler
countries you just ¡ay tle ins¡ectors oll. It is strange low tle ins¡ectors
work. As long as tley don`t see tlings, everytling is hne. Il tley do notice
sonetling, tley will nake a luss and slow tleir nuscles and enlorce a
lot ol silly rules.º

It is in¡ortant to kee¡ tle ins¡ectors oll your back, tle vendor ex-
¡lains to ne. You nake a lew adjustnents to kee¡ tlen la¡¡y, like wear
a lat or ¡lastic gloves. Tlis way you can work around tle systen. It is like
tle ins¡ectors laven`t understood a tling. Vly can`t you just kee¡ do-
ing tlings tle way tley lave been done lor tlree lundred years· It`s not
like tle vendor wants to ¡oison ¡eo¡le! Tle vendor continues witl lis
con¡laint. °Tlis is low you ¡re¡are tlis disl, tlis is low it las always
been ¡re¡ared. Tlis is low you get tlat s¡ecial ßavor tle custoners ¡ay
lor. Just because tle ins¡ectors get sone new lancy ideas tley want ne to
clange tle way I work.º
Tle sane tlene is ¡ursued by anotler vendor.
He believes tlat tle increasing nunber ol allergies in Sweden stens lron
110. Interview, October 16, 2006.
111. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tuesday, February 21,
112. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Tuesday, February 21,
vendors 299
tle overzealous lygiene neasures. °Tlere is no otler country in Luro¡e
wlere ¡eo¡le lave as nany allergies! And look at tle rules and regula-
tions lron tle Public Healtl Board! Tlere nust be a correlation!º

Tle econony ol trust ¡erneates tle narket lall culture. It is a con-
tract between tle vendors and tle custoners, and in tlis sense it is builds
on an econony ol ex¡ectations. Tle ex¡ectations tlrive on and are linked
botl to an econony ol ex¡ertise and an econony ol inlornation or gos-
si¡. But tle contract is tlreatened by tle rules and regulations ol tle
Public Healtl Board ins¡ectors, wlo are con¡elled not to recognize tle
inlornal social contract tlat is tle loundation lor tle econony ol trust.
Tle Public Healtl Board ins¡ectors alnost lunctions as agents ol nis-
trust. Tle Market Hall Adninistrators are syn¡atletic to tle vendors,
but also lave loyalties to tle Public Healtl Board ins¡ectors. As we lave
seen, tle vendors nanage tle ¡erceived allronts ol tle ins¡ectors in vari-
ous ways. Vlat is at stake are contending dehnitions ol quality, wlere
tle vendors lave to ada¡t to tle denands ol botl ¡ublic autlorities and
tle consuners, wlose ex¡ectations and dehnitions ol quality, rationality,
and autlenticity are o¡erating witl dillerent logics and dillerent econo-
nies ol trust. Tle social re¡utation witlin tle connunity ol gastronony
conßicts witl tle lornal lrane ol regulations ol tle lood trade.
113. Autlor`s heldnotes, Östernaln narket lall, Monday, Marcl 27, 2006.
The power of place
Lacl new lorn ol retail trade introduced its own logic, its own aestlet-
ics, and its own culture ol consun¡tion. In several ways it nakes sense to
s¡eak ol synbolic re¡resentations tlat are hlled witl neaning, and rein-
ter¡reted as listory noves along. Tle narket lall, wlicl seened sucl a
narvel ol nodernity wlen it was hrst introduced, was re¡laced by stores
conveniently located in eacl neiglborlood. Tle stores were lull ol new
wonders sucl as narble counters, glass, and nirrors.
Tle sell-service lornat cane at a tine wlen tle retail trade laced in-
creasing dilhculty to recruit stall. Tle sell-service lornat co-evolved witl
tle ¡ackaging industry and connercial tradenarks. Tle sell-service
stores becane larger and larger to ¡ay lor tle initial investnents need-
ed. Tle increased nobility altered tle location ol stores. Tle econonic
ex¡ansion led econonists to nake sucl briglt econonic lorecasts as to
blind tle retail sector into overex¡ansion.
Tle o¡tinisn ol tle continual econonic ¡rogress, and tle liberty ol
tle consuner society, turned into a critique and net growing resistance.
Tle gos¡el ol nore, bigger, and better was no longer an absolute trutl.
Tle successlul structural rationalizations ol tle ¡ost-war era turned into
a desire lor tle snall-scale, tle natural, and tle non-consunerist. A nos-
talgic desire lor tle ¡ast was translated into counter-novenents, and u¡-
grading ol ¡ast trade ¡ractices. Tle o¡en air narket, tle snall s¡ecialty
stores, and tle narket lalls all ex¡erienced a renaissance in wlat can be
terned a desire lor ex¡erience slo¡¡ing.
302 coda
Tle narket lall setting in tle early twenty-hrst century ollers a ty¡e
ol interaction between a rehned, cultivated vendor wlo las knowledge,
style, and courtesy, and a custoner wlo knows quality, a¡¡reciates tle
hne tlings in lile, and strives lor a ¡leasant ex¡erience. It is nore a ques-
tion ol recreating tle atnos¡lere and style ol tle elegant grocery stores
tlat were located around Stockloln lron tle late nineteentl century
and onwards, tlan to recreate tle actual narket lall and tle way it looked
like one lundred years ago. Tle wlole idea is to ¡lay out tle illusion tlat
wlat you hnd in tle narket lall is wlat was tlere belore, only in a ver-
sion tlat is u¡ to tle nodern standards ol lygiene. Tlat tle lygiene is
innaculate is only in¡lied, and tle relerences back to listory are nore a
question ol inaginings tlan ol listorical lactualness. Tle overall locus is
on ¡erce¡tions and enactnents ol quality.
Botl custoners and vendors con¡ronise and negotiate in order to
alhrn one anotler. Tle reci¡rocal dis¡lays ol res¡ect and nutual needs
to conhrn tle ¡osition ol tle otler are necessary, so tlat botl custoner
and vendor can leave tle interaction witl a stronger beliel in tleir res¡ec-
tive gastrononic con¡etence. Tlis talk about quality and wlat it neans
is in ¡art a rletorical exercise, but it is still sonetling tle ¡artici¡ants
seen to believe. Tle notives as to wly you do wlat you do are always
nore con¡lex tlan wlat you account lor. Vlat tley do can be dehned as
a way ol ¡erlorning quality.
Lvery object, every ¡lace, and every attitude can be recoded and rein-
ter¡reted over and over again. Tle constant negotiation and ¡lay witl
identities are claracteristic ol late nodernity and we can see tlis as a
lorn ol reßexive lile ¡roject. Tle consun¡tion landsca¡es increasingly
served as backdro¡ to tle identity ganes ol consuners.
In tle urban landsca¡es, new lorns ol retail trade continue to energe.
tle external ly¡ernarkets, tle discount stores, and tle tralhc and service
stores. Mergers and alliances witl otler con¡anies outside tle Swedisl
narket, and ex¡ansion into loreign narkets, lave been a tendency lron
tle 1990s and onwards. In tlis retail landsca¡e, tle narket lall las nan-
aged to survive and acquire an alnost iconic status as tle ten¡le ol lood.
Tle con¡etitive advantage ol tle narket lall renains in its listory, and
low it las nanaged to lold its leritage in trust, but also in low it las
nanaged to reinvent itsell over and over again.
Vlat is interesting is tlat tle retail s¡ace and low to design it increas-
ingly becane a science ol its own. In tle tlird and hnal ¡eriod, tle ster-
ile and liglly elhcient lorns ol distribution tlat were develo¡ed in tle
second ¡eriod ins¡ired a desire lor nore ¡ersonal service and contact, as
well as lor nore tactile slo¡¡ing ex¡eriences. Tlis desire lor ex¡eriences
is sonetling tlat tle conventional retail clains lave also been ta¡¡ing
303 the power of place
into, and tle art ol creating an a¡¡ealing retail s¡ace las lurtler devel-
o¡ed lron scientihc nanagenent ol sales ¡eo¡le, consuners, and s¡ace
into sensory nanagenent ol in¡ressions, to ins¡ire ¡leasurable sensa-
tions and nenorable ex¡eriences.
New beginnings?
On Decenber 6, 2007, The Economist announced tle end ol clea¡ lood -
we lad now reacled not only ¡eak oil, but also ¡eak lood. Tlis article was
only one in a long line ol articles on tle lood systen during a tine wlen
tle world ex¡erienced a series ol lood crises, wlere staggering ¡rices lead
to riots. Tle UN Food re¡ort by Zalar Adeel lron 2007 described tle
situation as 'acute`. Tle lollowing year, several new books on tle subject
Meanwlile, tle ¡rohts nade by agribusinesses and hnancial
s¡eculators reacled un¡recedented leiglts. Vlat tlis reveals is low
lragile tle nodern lood systen is. In tle Vestern world we lave cone to
rely on a clea¡ and abundant lood su¡¡ly, constantly ollering new and
exciting varieties ol alnost any kind ol lood.
Tle seeningly ellortless
systens ol distribution belind tlis lood su¡¡ly are in lact trenendously
Tle sleer anount ol lood needed lor a ¡lace like Mexico City
1. Roberts, P., The end of food, Steele, C., Hungry city, V. Vriglt & G. Midden-
dorl, (eds.), The fight over food. Tlis critique is not new, see lor exan¡le Magd-
oll, F., Foster, J. & Buttel, F., Hungry for profit: The agribusiness threat to farmers,
food and the environment lron 2000 and A Bonanno, L Buscl, V H Friedland,
L Gouveia and L Mingione (eds.) From Columbus to ConAgra: The Globalization
of Agriculture and Foods lron 1994.
2. Beardswortl, A. & Keil, T., Sociology on the menu; Bell, D. & Valentine, G.,
Consuming geographies.
3. C. D. Tlon¡son & M. Viggins (eds.), The Human Cost of Food: Farm work-
er Lives, Labor, and Advocacy; Vrigley, N., Coe, N. & Curral, A, °Globalizing
retail. Conce¡tualizing tle distribution-based transnational cor¡oration
306 epilogue
or London, or lor tlat natter, a con¡aratively snall city like Stockloln,
denands logistic niracles every day. Food is brouglt in lron increas-
ingly greater distances to leed tle growing urban ¡o¡ulations. Food is
absolutely essential to our survival. Yet, tlis only becones a¡¡arent wlen
tlere are breakdowns and tle systens ol distribution (or ¡roduction) lail
to deliver.
Vlat systens ol distribution a city ado¡ts is liglly de¡endent on
institutional arrangenents. Lvery country and every region las its own
listorical and geogra¡lical legacies wlicl lave translated into narket
structures and legal lraneworks, as well as aestletics and cultures ol con-
sun¡tion, su¡¡orted and clallenged by ¡oliticians, interest grou¡s and
Increasingly, tle cities ol tle world lave to ada¡t to various
global trade agreenents as well.
Tle systens ol distribution are not h-
nalized and ¡erlected at tleir current stage. Instead, tley are constantly
subject to clallenges and variations, innovations, and new conditions.
In tle listory ol cities (in ¡articular Vestern) we lave seen a novenent
lron local to national, and tlen to global ¡rovisioning systens. Let us
now reca¡itulate wlat tle nicro exan¡le ol tle narket lall can tell us
about urban lood retail and its consequences.
Tle hrst ¡art ol narket lall develo¡nent in Sweden lron 1863 to
1933 dealt witl tle tine wlen narket lalls were constructed in Stock-
loln as a res¡onse to tle ¡roblen ol sustaining a lealtly, sulhcient, and
allordable lood su¡¡ly. Tle urbanization ¡rocess in Sweden was initially
slow, and even in tle latter lall ol tle nineteentl century Stockloln
was by nost accounts a backward city on tle outskirts ol Luro¡e. Vlen
urbanization hnally took oll, Stockloln becane a very ra¡idly clang-
ing city, witl a large inßow ol new inlabitants wlo de¡ended on buying
lood ratler tlan ¡roducing it. It was a transition lron a snall city witl
(TNC)º, Progress in Hunan Geogra¡ly, 29(4), 2005, ¡. 437-457, Lee, R., °Tle
ordinary econony. Tangled u¡ in values and geogra¡lyº, Transactions of the
Institute of British Geographers, 31(4), ¡. 413-432, 2006.
4. Goodnan, D., °Tle quality 'turn` and alternative lood ¡ractices. reßec-
tions and agendaº, Journal of Rural Studies 19 (2003), ¡. 1-7, Kri¡¡ner, G., °Tle
elusive narket. Lnbeddedness and tle ¡aradign ol econonic sociologyº,
Theory and Society, 30, 2001, ¡. 775-810, Henderson et. al., °Global ¡roduction
networks and tle analysis ol econonic develo¡nentº, Review of International
Political Economy, 9(3), 2002, ¡. 436-464.
5. Coe, N., Dicken, P. & Hess, M., °Introduction. Global ¡roduction networks
debates and clallengesº, Journal of Economic Geography, 8, 2008, ¡. 267-269,
Hugles, A., Vrigley, N. & Buttle, M., °Global ¡roduction networks, etlical
can¡aigning and tle enbeddedness ol res¡onsible governance,º Journal of
Economic Geography, 8, 2008, ¡. 345-367.
new beginnings? 307
a kind ol lousekee¡ing tlat lad nore in connon witl tle long-tern
agrarian lorns ol lile,
to a city witl nore distinct urban lorns ol louse-
kee¡ing, wlere lood was bouglt nore olten and in snaller quantities
tlan ¡reviously. Tlis was in ¡art due to tle lact tlat nany louselolds
were unable to store lood. Botl a lack ol s¡ace in tle lones and a lack ol
noney to buy in bulk contributed to tle new ¡atterns ol consun¡tion.
Sone louselolds and individuals lad no cooking ¡ossibilities (or virtu-
ally none), wlicl neant tlat tley lad to rely on ready-nade takeouts, or
a sin¡le neal sucl as collee witl lard and nolasses on bread.
Tle urban
louselolds also bouglt nore lresl ¡roduce tlan ¡revious urban ¡o¡u-
lations, es¡ecially tle nore alßuent consuners, but tle dietary ¡atterns
clanged in all classes.

Tle transition lron a subsistence econony to connercial lood ¡ro-
visioning denanded an inlrastructure on a wlole new scale, tlrouglout
tle lood clain. Tlere lad, ol course, always been an inlrastructure lor
lood ¡rovisioning in tle cities. Vlat was new, a¡art lron tle greater
scale, was tle lack ol control in an era ol laissez-laire and lree enter¡rise.
In tle ra¡idly ex¡anding city ol Stockloln, witl its ra¡idly ex¡anding
econony, tle unequal distribution ol wealtl created unequal access to
tle new urban lood su¡¡ly. It was literally an unequal distribution ol
quality. Salety, lreslness, variety were all valued attributes, but lor sone
sulhcient quantity was tle key issue.
Tle urban lile and tle abundance ol novelties ins¡ired lood anxieties
in several ways. Tle alienated consuner needed nore tlorougl knowl-
6. Tlis relers botl to tle ¡ractice ol kee¡ing ¡igs or ¡oultry in tle backyard,
and to growing various cro¡s wlere ¡ossible. It was also a question ol low
tle general louselold work was ¡lanned and carried out. One sucl exan¡le
is buying a wlole ¡ig and tlen ¡re¡aring every ¡art ol tle aninal, tle way
a louselold in tle countryside would. Tle books on good lousekee¡ing
in tle city were lull ol advice tlat souglt to nediate and ada¡t tle rural
¡ractices to an urban setting. Tle lousekee¡ing books were nainly intended
lor a niddle class consuner. Tle nore nodest louselolds lad otler ¡reoc-
cu¡ations, sucl as naking ends neet. Vitl tle energence ol industrial, or
ratler, ¡rotoindustrial lood, in tle nass ¡roduction ol salt, sugar, nilling
ol grains, brewing, baking, bouillon cubes etc., tle cooking labits and wlat
can be dehned as °cooking lron scratclº clanged. Tlese loods lad been ¡ro-
cessed, but still required cooking. However, several ste¡s tlat lad until tlen
been ¡erlorned by tle end consuners, or nenbers ol tle end consuners`
louselolds, lad been elininated, tlus ¡aving tle way lor slort cuts in tle
7. Hirdnan, Y., Magfrågan, ¡. 79-80.
8. For a listory ol low lresl loods becane ¡art ol tle everyday diet ol Vest-
ern consuners, see Freidberg, S., Fresh. A perishable history.
308 epilogue
edge ol lood. Tlis con¡laint was voiced at regular intervals. In 1883, Pro-
lessor Klencke con¡lained about tle ignorance ol young girls, and low
tlis would allect tleir abilities as lousewives.
Filty years ago it was easier to nake ¡urclases tlan it is today.
Tlen tle najority ol tle vendors and nerclants were nore lon-
est, tle circunstances ol living were sin¡ler, and tle industrial
art ol adulteration was not yet so connon. In our tines |1883|,
wlen industrial greed ex¡loits tle natural sciences to give tle
bad connodity tle allure ol tle good connodity, wlen all ne-
cessities and luxuries lave acquired sucl an increased, inagined
value, or ¡rices lave risen due to tle ¡eriod ol ligl living costs
and ligl taxes, and railways and waterways lave nade tle trade
in connodities lron all over tle world nucl sin¡ler, wlicl
las ins¡ired s¡eculations and ¡rice increases by artihcial neans
now tle ¡urclase ol connodities and tleir true value las
becone nucl larder, and a nore tlorougl knowledge ol ner-
clandise is essential.

Klencke goes on to tell tle ignorant consuner low to buy, wlen to buy,
and wlat to buy. Around twenty years later, anotler landbook reiterates
tle ¡oints nade by Klencke - ignorance leads to getting cleated, so tle
consuner lad better nake sure to be knowledgeable, as well as to hnd
regular nerclants and renain loyal to tlen.
In 1923, yet anotler land-
book a¡¡ears tlat ¡ro¡osed to guide tle consuner tlrougl tle nass ol
connodities on dis¡lay. Tle so¡listicated art ol advertising would otl-
erwise easily lure tle inex¡erienced consuner into unwise ¡urclases.

9. ºFor lentio ar tillbaka var det lattare att ko¡a an nu lor tiden, da var stors-
ta antalet ko¡nan ocl nanglare arligare, lelnadsbelolven enklare ocl den
industriela lorlalskningskonsten annu ej sa allnan. I vara tider, da den in-
dustriela vinningslystnaden begagnar naturvetenska¡en lor att gilva den da-
liga varan skenet al den goda, da alla lilslornodenleter ocl olverßodsartiklar
lalva latt ett stegradt, inbilladt varde, eller till loljd al dyr tid ocl loga skat-
ter naste stegras i ¡riset, ocl da den genon jernvagar ocl anglartyg under-
lattade sanlardseln i landeln sanlort varor ocl ¡rodukter lran alla verldens
lander, ocl ¡riserna genon s¡ekulationer ocl konstlade nedel stegras nu
ar inko¡et al varor ocl deras ratta vardering nycket svarare, lvarlor nu lor
tiden en grundligare varukannedon erlordras an lorr.º Klencke, H., Hushålls-
lära: en praktisk lärobok i varukännedom, hushållets teknik, kemi och fysik, ¡. 382.
Autlor`s translation.
10. Torne, L. Solidar: en lifsfråga för hemmen, ¡. 151.
11. Hogstedt, I. & Nyblon, L., Varukännedom och inköpskonst: Vägledning för oer-
farna husmödrar, ¡. 7.
new beginnings? 309
Vlat tlese exan¡les denonstrate is low tle nass ¡roduction and nass
distribution ol goods tlat under¡in tle subsequent denocratization ol
lood, initially created certain lood and consun¡tion anxieties. Tle novel
loods denanded a new con¡etence. As consuners becane increasingly
alienated lron tle ¡roduction ¡rocess, tle need lor con¡etence grew.
Vitl tle consuner renoved lron tle ¡roduction ¡rocesses, ¡astoral ide-
als and dreans ol tle rural bliss ¡rolilerated, not least in tle iconic status
accorded to tle larner in tle discussions ol tle lood narkets in Stock-

Tle ¡roduction ol lood increasingly took ¡lace outside tle city or in
tle outskirts ol tle city. To bring tle ¡roducers and tleir lood ¡roducts
to tle city and tle consuners was tle nain concern lor tle city olhcials,
wlo were anxious to nake sure tlat tlere was enougl allordable (and
¡relerably sale) lood lor tle inlabitants. Paradoxically, tlere was a strong
desire to elininate tle ¡ersisting lood ¡roduction in tle city, as tle city
olhcials strived to turn Stockloln into a nodern netro¡olis.
All ol
tlis called lor new lorns ol distribution. Tlis is wlen tle narket lall
energed as a ¡ossible solution. Tle nove towards tle narket lalls can
also be nirrored in tle ¡arallel listory ol tle city`s arcades, and later in
tle de¡artnent stores, or in tleir rural cousins, tle dairies.

Tle transition into nodernity was also a nove towards a¡¡lying tle
¡rinci¡les ol scientihc nanagenent to tle lood clain. As nore loods and
goods ol transatlantic origin entered tle lood narkets in Sweden, tle
US exan¡le increasingly ins¡ired tle Swedisl business connunity and
tle nunici¡al autlorities. Tle nunici¡al cold stores, connercial clilled
warelouses, ¡acking ¡lants, railcars, and steansli¡s leld tle ¡ronise
ol an inlrastructure wlere lood could transcend tine and s¡ace and ar-
rive at tle consuner lresl, or at least lresler tlan litlerto was ¡ossible.
None ol tlis could lave la¡¡ened witlout a lost ol teclnologies tlat
¡rotected tle loods and nade trans¡ortation ¡ossible. Tlis conbination
12. For an account ol tle tendency to lonor and ronanticize tle country-
side, see lor exan¡le Lrlandson-Hannargren, L., Från alpromantik till hem-
13. Deland and Hall lave botl denonstrated tle in¡ortance ol city ¡lanning
as a tool lor reacling tle goal ol building a nore orderly city. See Deland, M.,
The Social City and Hall, T., Stockholm: the making of a metropolis.
14. Benjanin, V., The arcades project; Husz, O., Drömmars värde: varuhus och
lotteri i svensk konsumtionskultur 1897-1939, Fredriksson, C., Ett paradis för alla;
Sonnestad, L., Från mejerska till mejerist: en studie av mejeriyrkets maskulinise-
310 epilogue
ol teclnology and science, sustained by econonic ¡rohts, was enblen-
atic ol tle nodern condition.

Tlat tle US inßuence was hrst noticeable in tle business connunity
is ¡erla¡s not so sur¡rising. Il we acce¡t Arrigli`s inter¡retation ol tle
twentietl century, tle US energed as contender lor legenonic ¡ower
lron tle end ol tle nineteentl century, even il tle outcone was by no
neans certain. Great Britain still renained tle legenonic su¡er¡ower
witl its en¡ire s¡anning tle globe.
Sweden lad listorically olten sid-
ed witl Great Britain`s arcleneny, France. Lven il tlere were exclanges
witl Great Britain, tle nain inßuence was not Britisl. In 1810, Sweden
also invited one ol Na¡oléon Bona¡arte`s narslals to becone tle king ol
Sweden. But tle ¡olitical inßuence ol France on a global scale lad dinin-
isled, as tle Frencl lailed to naster tle econonic, teclnological, and
¡olitical initiatives.
Sweden lad close cultural ties to Gernany, and Gernany tlrived as
France`s s¡lere ol inßuence dininisled. Tle ¡enclant towards Ger-
nany was strengtlened by tle narriage ol tle Swedisl king Oscar II to
tle Gernan ¡rincess Victoria. Il tle cultural and ¡olitical inßuence was
clearly Gernan, tle business connunity was as nucl under a build-u¡
¡lase in Gernany as it was in Sweden. Anotler vital reason to lollow tle
Anerican ratler tlan tle Gernan exan¡le was ol course tle deleat ol
tle Gernan in¡erial ¡ower in tle First Vorld Var. All tle wealtl and
ca¡ital Gernany lad accunulated dissi¡ated alter tle clasl witl tle
tlen legenonic ¡ower Great Britain.
Here tle US ollered a nucl nore
¡ronising exan¡le lor tle business connunity to lollow. It was tle new
world, witl its new econonic o¡¡ortunities and new business ¡ractices
tlat beckoned entre¡reneurial s¡irits.
Towards tle end ol tle ¡eriod 1863-1933, res¡onsibility was slilted
in lavor ol ¡rivate enter¡rise lor botl tle ¡roduction and tle retail end
ol tle lood clain. Munici¡al autlorities were to ¡rovide tle inlrastruc-
ture needed lor tle distribution ol goods. Part ol tle inlrastructure was
tle creation ol a wlolesale district lor lood.
Tle wlolesale narket lalls
15. See lor exan¡le, Freidberg, S., Fresh. A perishable history, Belasco, V. J., Ap-
petite for change: how the counterculture took on the food industry, Cronon, V., Na-
ture’s metropolis: Chicago and the Great West.
16. Arrigli, G., The long twentieth century, ¡. 58-74.
17. Arrigli, G., The long twentieth century, ¡. 58-74, 269-300.
18. In 1916, L. D. H. Veld, ¡rolessor ol business adninistration, wrote The
marketing of farm products to ex¡lain wly niddlenen were necessary - , tley
added value by ¡rolessionally and rationally landling tle distribution and
narketing ol lood ¡roducts. Tle debate about tle value ol niddlenen con-
tinued lor years, and tle division into wlolesale and retail can be inter¡reted
new beginnings? 311
were to be o¡erated under tle su¡ervision ol tle City, but tle businesses
witlin were to be ¡rivate. Tlis nixture ol nunici¡al inlrastructure and
¡rivate enter¡rise was to balance control and ¡rohts in tle nost rational
nanner, in order to ¡rovide citizens witl an abundant, nodern lood su¡-
¡ly wortly ol a nodern city. By tle 1930s, tle lood clain lad ex¡anded
its sco¡e lron a regional to an increasingly national narket, and later on
tle lrontiers ol lood su¡¡ly were to extend even lurtler.
Tle niddlenan, wlo lad been de¡icted as unjustly rea¡ing tle ¡rol-
its ol larners, was no longer an actor to be elininated, but was ratler a
necessary and desirable internediary between tle increasingly rational-
ized lood ¡roducers on tle one land, and tle retailers on tle otler. Tle
econonies ol scale lron tle lood ¡roduction and nanulacturing were
to be translerred to tle retail sector. Inter¡retations ol quality lad tlus
slilted lron tle rural inagery ol tle autlentic larner, tlat was nost
in laslion around tle turn ol tle century, towards rational lood lan-
dling, wlicl took its cue lron industrial scientihc nanagenent, wlere
tle natural sciences would naster tle constraints ol tine and s¡ace lor
tle lasting beneht ol tle consuning ¡ublic. Tle denocratization ol lood
consun¡tion, witl its standardized, unilorn, lood su¡¡ly accessible lor
all, was about to unlold.
In tle second ¡art, lron 1933 to 1973, tle narket lalls lad becone
a non-issue. Otler lorns ol distribution lad triun¡led, and nade tle
narket lall seen redundant in tle eyes ol nunici¡al governnents eager
to avoid costs and not linder ¡rivate enter¡rise. Prinarily it was a ques-
tion ol a systen ol stores s¡read out across tle city. Lvery neiglborlood,
and alnost every street, lad its own set ol stores. tle nilk store tlat
also sonetines sold bread, tle grocery store, tle butcler, and tle hsl
nonger. Tlese stores were snall and nostly o¡erated by inde¡endent
storekee¡ers. Tlere were also tle coo¡erative stores tlat were leading tle
develo¡nent ol store culture by striving lor standardized store hxtures
and layouts to rationalize tle retail trade. Tle coo¡erative novenent was
closely and jealously watcled by tle inde¡endent grocers, wlo eventually
lorned a retailer coo¡erative novenent to neet tle clallenge lron tle
as tle tangible nanilestation ol tlese debates. For an overview ol tle listory
ol tlouglt ol tle distribution clannels, see Nyberg, A., Innovation in the distri-
bution channel, ¡. 12-18. Vlen tle Stockloln City Council decided to locus
tleir energy on ¡roviding a wlolesale inlrastructure by tle late 1920s, tlis
can be seen as tle acce¡tance ol tle division ol wlolesale and retail. It can
also be seen low tle initiatives lron tle consuner coo¡erative novenent
and various ¡rivate wlolesale coo¡eratives ¡aved tle way lor tle actions by
tle City Council. For nore on tlis, see cla¡ter 2 in tlis book.
312 epilogue
consuner coo¡erative novenent.
Tle develo¡nents in tle retail trade
were also being nonitored by tle lood nanulacturers, wlo were anxious
to hnd an outlet lor tleir ¡roducts wlicl natcled tleir ¡roduction ca-
In tlis new consun¡tion landsca¡e, tlere was no ¡lace lor tle nar-
ket lalls. Tley a¡¡eared outdated, and were in nany cases rundown. Tle
nunici¡alities did not wisl to s¡end any tax noney on kee¡ing u¡ tle
naintenance ol tle narket lalls, wlen ¡rivate actors and tle coo¡erative
novenent were taking care ol tle lood distribution in sucl a satislactory
way. Tle lood slortages ol tle ¡revious ¡eriod were no longer a big issue.
Instead, tle locus lad slilted to natters concerned witl naking tle ac-
tual distribution and tle retail trade itsell nore nodern and rational.
However, tlese invisible retail narket lalls in tle second ¡art are
interesting as well, since tley say sonetling about tle new ideals. Tle
narket lall lad been celebrated lor ollering everytling under tle sane
rool in a clean and sale environnent, wlere, at least in tleory, tle ven-
dors were civil and con¡etent, and ollered hrst-class service and hrst-
class ¡roduce to tleir likewise civil and con¡etent hrst-class custoners.
Tle snall stores located around town were in a sense continuing tlis
tradition, exce¡t tlat lygienic regulations ¡revented tlen lron selling
everytling under tle sane rool, wlicl neant tle various lood itens were
s¡read out geogra¡lically. Still, witl tle nunerous quantity ol stores,
tle s¡atial inconvenience ol not hnding everytling under tle sane rool
was nininized.
Tle anbition ol rationalizing tle lood retail was led by tle consuner
coo¡erative novenent, and su¡¡orted by tle lood nanulacturers and
tle ¡ackaging industries. Tle industries lad nanaged to neclanize and
rationalize on an in¡ressive scale, but tle retail sector was lagging be-
lind. Tlis ¡roblen was recognized by tle re¡resentatives ol tle retail
trade, as well as by sclolars interested in distribution and retail. Investi-
gations were undertaken at tle national level, wlicl is yet anotler reason
wly nunici¡alities were not seriously engaging in tle retail narket lall
question. Ratler, tle nunici¡al autlorities locused tleir attention on
¡roviding centralized wlolesale narket lalls, roads, and otler inlrastruc-
ture wortly ol tle ex¡anding, nodern city.
Tle real breaktlrougl, ol course, is tle introduction ol tle sell-ser-
vice lornat wlicl took ¡lace during tlis ¡eriod. Tle sell-service lornat
is truly a revolution ol low lood retail is undertaken. It virtually altered
19. Aléx, P., Den rationella konsumenten, Nyberg, A., Innovation in the distribution
channel, Ranne, U., För det allmännas bästa, Kjellberg, H., Organising distribu-
tion, Bergnan, B., Handelsplats, shopping, stadsliv.
new beginnings? 313
tle lace ol tle retail landsca¡es witl new lorns ol consun¡tion cultures
energing lron tle new lorns ol consun¡tion s¡aces. Again, tle role
nodel was tle US, and tlis tendency only grew witl tle increasing lege-
nonic ¡ower ol tle US, wlicl was translated into a ra¡id Anericaniza-
tion ol tle entire Swedisl nation. Anericanization slould be understood
nore as a uselul neta¡lor lor tle lruits ol econonic and scientihc ¡rog-
ress. In tle Swedisl setting, it acquired s¡ecihc lorns in line witl tle
aestletic and noral values tlat were ¡racticable in Sweden. Tle US was a
role nodel, and it was used to lend an allure ol success to new econonic
and cultural ¡ractices.

For a wlile during tle 1960s, tle big de¡artnent stores looked like
serious clan¡ions ol lood retail. Tlis was tle golden era ol tle big de-
¡artnent stores, wlen alnost every Swedisl city lad two or even tlree
eacl, and tle de¡artnent stores lad lull-scale lood de¡artnents.
At the
ligl ¡eriod ol tle great de¡artnent stores, tley re¡resented tle ¡eak ol
nodernity and ollered relatively clea¡ ¡rices. Tle decline ol tle great
de¡artnent stores corres¡onds to a nounting critique ol tle consuner
society and tle blatant consunerisn.
But it was also a question ol over-
reacling, wlicl nade tle de¡artnent stores vulnerable lor tle clanges
tlat took ¡lace in tle 1970s, and eventually brouglt on tle downlall ol
tle vast najority ol tle de¡artnent stores.
Anotler lorn ol lood retail wlicl a¡¡eared in tle 1960s was tle ly-
¡ernarket. Tle hrst ly¡ernarket, witl tle now classic location in tle
outskirts ol tle city, was Vessels in Malno, wlicl o¡ened in 1962. Tle
idea lor tle ly¡ernarket was again nodeled on tle US exan¡le, wlere
tle hrst ly¡ernarkets o¡ened in tle 1930s. Tle signihcant ex¡ansion ol
ly¡ernarkets in tle US took ¡lace in tle 1950s.
In Sweden, tle ex¡an-
sion was lairly last lron tle late 1960s to tle nid-1970s, wlen tle city
¡lanners ¡revented or were extrenely restrictive concerning new estab-

Tle ra¡idity nay in ¡art be ex¡lained by tle s¡ectacular econonic
and ¡olitical stability ol tle ¡ost-war era. Des¡ite ¡olitical controversies,
Sweden only lad two ¡rine ninisters during a tlirty year ¡eriod, botl
ol tlen social denocrats.
Tle stability and tle ¡olitical success ol tle
20. Arrigli, G., The long twentieth century, ¡. 58-74, 269-300, O`Dell, T., Culture
unbound, ¡. 1-16, 225-227.
21. Fredriksson, C., Ett paradis för alla, ¡. 73.
22. Larsson, F., Den nya varuhandeln, ¡. 30.
23. Mayo, J. M., The American Grocery Store, ¡. 157-190.
24. Tulvesson, I., Varuhandeln: igår, idag, imorgon , ¡. 73-74.
25. Frenander, A., Debattens vågor: om politisk-ideologiska frågor i efterkrigstidens
svenska kulturdebatt, ¡. 36-42.
314 epilogue
social denocrats nay in ¡art be ex¡lained by tle lact tlat tle ideology
ol a classless society, or at least ol a society wlere econonic and cultural
dillerences were to be leveled out, created a clinate ol class reconcilia-
tion tlat seened only rational in tle alternatl ol tle Second Vorld Var,
es¡ecially witl tle cold war looning in tle background. But it was tle
s¡ectacular econonic boon ol tle ¡ostwar era tlat nade tle relorns
ol tle wellare state ¡ossible.
Tle urbanization ol tle 1950s and 1960s
allowed lor city ¡lanning witl un¡aralleled econonic neans and ¡oliti-
cal stability, wlere tle good, strong society was to be given its nodern,
rational lorn. Modern teclnology sucl as relrigeration and ¡ackaging
translorned and o¡ened u¡ tle landsca¡e lor tle era ol nass retailing, or
in otler words, tle era ol denocratization ol lood, wlere all citizens were
given access to tle sane unilorn, standardized lood.
But tle retail narkets and tle cultures ol consun¡tion were rendered
so ellective and rational tlat in tle end tlat tley lost tleir a¡¡eal. Tle
denocratization ol lood, wlicl built on rationalizations and standard-
izations, also led to an u¡surge in longing lor gastronony. In tle bounti-
lul, standardized consun¡tion landsca¡e, TV lood slows were dis¡lay-
ing anotler side ol lood. In Sweden, tle celebrity clel Tore Vretnan lad
radio slows and TV slows clan¡ioning lis version ol traditional Swed-
isl cookery. Anotler lanous TV ¡ersonality, Ria Vagner, also ¡resented
declining culinary traditions.
In tle US, Julia Clilds tauglt Anericans
tle deliglts ol Frencl laute cuisine. Tle nedia ¡ro¡ogated inages ol
lood can be seen as tle counter¡arts ol tle landbooks on consun¡tion
lron earlier eras. Tley reveal sonetling ol tle anxieties raised by tle rad-
ical translornations ol lood.
Tlis novel interest in gastronony and tle
vague uneasiness over tle ¡aradoxes in lood is wlat ¡aved tle way lor tle
tlird and hnal ¡eriod.
Tle tlird ¡art sees a ¡artial return ol tle narket lall`s ¡roninence.
Tle year ol 1973 was closen as tle end ol tle second ¡eriod ¡rinarily
because it corres¡onds to tle crisis ol tle boon ¡eriod in tle ¡ostwar
Tle narket lall renaissance ol course was a nucl nore gradual and
subtle translornation witl no radical breaks. Tle general cultural and
26. Fryklund, B., Hinnelstrand G. & Peterson, T., “Folkliglet, klass ocl o¡i-
nion i svensk ¡olitik under elterkrigstidenº, In G. Svensson & U. Hinnel-
strand (eds.), Sverige - vardag och struktur: sociologer beskriver det svenska samhället,
¡. 633-639.
27. Metzger, J., I köttbullslandet, ¡. 273-278, 280.
28. For a discussion ol culinary laslions tlrougl listory and tleir bearing
on social clange, see Mennell, S., All manners of food: eating and taste in England
and France from the Middle Ages to the present.
29. Hobsbawn, L., The Age of Extremes, ¡. 327.
new beginnings? 315
¡olitical clinate ol tle 1960s and 1970s were inßuenced by a critique ol
centralisn and large-scale ¡roduction. Tle ¡ositive visions ol tle luture,
ol science and ¡rogress, seened uncertain.
In 1961, Jane Jacobs ¡ub-
lished The death and life of great American cities, criticizing tle urban renewal
strategies tlat lad denolisled tle inner city centers ol nost Vestern cit-
ies. In 1962, Raclel Carson ¡ublisled Silent spring, wlicl can be said to
nark be tle start ol tle environnental novenent. Tle ideas ol tlese
books also resonated witlin tle Swedisl context, and contributed to tle
critique ol nodernity and large-scale rationality lron environnental and
social stand¡oints.
Tle desire to eat organic, and to return to snall-
scale, nore autlentic, and nore genuine ways ol lile, nade older lorns
like tle narket lall seen nore attractive again.
Tle radical 1960s and 1970s were lollowed by tle conservative 1980s,
wlen traditions, etiquette, and luxury consun¡tion translorned tle cul-
tural and ¡olitical landsca¡e. No longer was tle wellare state ex¡ected to
¡rovide a social leveling-out ol econonic and cultural dillerences. Tle
econonic crisis ol tle 1970s and tle subsequent deregulations ol tle h-
nancial narkets ins¡ired instead an attitude clange wlere tax cuts and
individual success were tle cornerstones.
In tlis new social landsca¡e,
tle consun¡tion landsca¡e netanor¡losed. Tle ¡rior denocratiza-
tion ol lood, witl its locus on large-scale solutions, standardizations,
and conlornity, was re¡laced by an adoration lor luxury lor luxury`s own
sake, and lor cons¡icuous consun¡tion to celebrate individual success.
Tle narket lall could cater to tlis ¡erlectly. Tle ¡ersonal service was tle
incarnation ol old-sclool obligingness, ol service-nindedness.
Tle neoliberal tendencies ol tle 1980s were reinlorced during tle
1990s, and ¡rivatizations, deregulations, and tax cuts becane tle stan-
dard renedies to cure societal ills.
Tle social denocrats in Sweden lol-
lowed tle sane ¡atl as tle rest ol tle Vestern world. In 1994, Sweden
said yes to join tle Luro¡ean Union, and tle neoliberal develo¡nent
accelerated. But tle disnantling ol tle wellare state was ¡erceived as a
betrayal by sone, and a crisis ol conhdence ensued.
Tle distance be-
30. Alrne, G., Ronan, C. & Franzén, M., Det sociala landskapet, ¡. 28, 40-41.
31. For a detailed discussion ol low tlis inßuence naterialized in tle Stock-
loln city ¡lanning context, see Lriksson, L., Stockholm med modernismen i cen-
32. Torell, U., Den rökande människan, ¡. s. 203, 247, Alrne, G., Ronan, C. &
Franzén, M., Det sociala landskapet, ¡. 43-44, 170-171.
33. Boréus, K., Högervåg: nyliberalismen och kampen om språket i svensk debatt
1969-1989, ¡. 306-318.
34. See Holnberg, S. & Veibull, J., “Fortroendet lallerº, In S. Holnberg & J.
Veibull (eds.), Det nya samhället, ¡. 31, 33, Alrne, G., Ronan, C. & Franzén,
316 epilogue
tween tle elite and tle najority was widening, as were tle incone ga¡s in
society as a wlole. Tlere las been a gigantic transler ol wealtl and ¡ower
lollowing tle 1973 crisis, and tle world las never belore lad sucl an un-
equal distribution ol wealtl.

To be ¡art ol tle select lew and lave a ¡ublic ¡ersona becane nore
in¡ortant during tle 1990s. It is ¡art ol tle individualization trend tlat
started during tle 1980s. To be successlul, you slould ¡ursue an interna-
tional career and live in Brussels, London, or New York. To be a world citi-
zen increasingly becane ¡art ol tle success indicators. Tle individual lad
to hnd lis or ler nicle and nake tle o¡tinal lilestyle cloices. Lilestyle,
identity, and cloice were tle ¡redoninant tlenes in tle ¡o¡ular ¡ress.
At tle sane tine, econonic and etlnic segregation was intensihed.
situation was ¡aradoxical. on tle one land, widening incone ga¡s, and
on tle otler land, an assortnent lor consun¡tion tlat seened to nulti-
¡ly by tle ninute. In tlis social and cultural landsca¡e, consun¡tion was
¡erceived as tle key to ¡ersonal sell-realization. Consun¡tion was also
seen as tle notor belind tle wlole econony. In tle early twenty-hrst
century, consun¡tion tlus took on a ¡olitical as well as econonic di-
nension tlat was intertwined witl its social and cultural signihcance.

It is lron tlis ¡ers¡ective tlat tle results ol tle etlnogra¡lic held
study in tlis book slould be viewed. Tle renaissance las recasted tle
narket lall not as a general solution to an all-encon¡assing question,
but ratler as an alternative to everyday lood consun¡tion, tlat is, a lile-
style cloice and a way to ex¡ress individuality in an ocean ol consun¡-
tion ¡ossibilities. Lven il tlere are ¡eo¡le wlo do nost ol tleir slo¡¡ing
in tle narket lalls, lor nost ¡eo¡le tle narket lalls re¡resent tle exclu-
sive, tle extravagant, and tle lestive. Tlis is wlere you go wlen you want
sonetling out ol tle ordinary, or wlen you ¡re¡are lor a s¡ecial occa-
sion. Tlis is also wlere you go to just enjoy tle atnos¡lere. Tle narket
lalls ol tle beginning ol tle twenty-hrst century are ¡laces to see and be
seen, ratler tlan ¡laces to do your everyday lood slo¡¡ing in a nodern
and rational way. Tle renaissance ol tle narket lalls is also ¡art ol a reac-
M., Det sociala landskapet, ¡. 44-45.
35. For a con¡elling analysis ol tle ellects ol tlis develo¡nent in tle US, see
Lascl, C., The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy. Nevertleless, tle
sane tendencies in varyings degrees are ¡resent all over tle world.
36. See Alrne, G., Ronan, C. & Franzén, M., Det sociala landskapet, ¡. 46-48,
Jolansson, T., Socialpsykologi och modernitet, ¡. 119-120, Torell, U., Den rökande
människan, ¡. 253.
37. Trentnann, F., “Knowing Consuners Histories, Identities, Practices. An
Introductionº, In F. Trentnann (ed.), The making of the consumer, ¡. 1-29.
new beginnings? 317
tion to tle structural rationalizations ol tle retail trade.
When the retail
trade becane too big, too elhcient, and too rational, tle tine was ri¡e lor
a return to nostalgia and a searcl lor dillerent values.
Tle renaissance ol tle narket lall can also be inter¡reted as a counter
reaction to tle denocratization ol lood, it evokes a desire lor tle snall-
scale, lor sonetling better. Sonetines tlis translates into a desire lor
organic loods due to environnental issues, but nostly it is a counter
reaction to tle ¡re-¡ackaged, standardized lood ol tle su¡ernarkets -
a desire lor uniqueness, lreslness, and savoriness. It is also a desire lor
¡alatable, ricl, and intense ßavors, colors and textures.
Tle nodern,
industrial lood systen`s slortconings in taste and texture are exen¡li-
hed in tle ¡ractice ol larvesting unri¡e lruit and vegetables lor nore
convenient long distance trans¡ortation. Flavorless, out ol season lruits
and vegetables tlat s¡end long ¡eriods in cold storage are ¡art ol tle ste-
reoty¡ed inage ol tle nodern industrial lood systen. Naning lruits and
vegetables and otler loods can tlen be seen as a way ol suggesting tradi-
tion, autlenticity, and connoisseursli¡. Tlis ¡ractice is ¡erla¡s best il-
lustrated by tle leirloon or leritage loods, but also in tle ¡resentation
ol ¡roducers, and in tle storytelling about exclusive loods tlat are now
connon not only in narket lalls and s¡ecialty stores, but also in tle big
su¡ernarket clains.

38. Morgan, K., Marsden, T. & Murdocl, J., Worlds of food: place, power and prov-
enance in the food chain, Varde, A., Consumption, food, and taste: culinary antino-
mies and commodity culture, Bell, D. & Valentine, G., Consuming geographies: we
are where we eat, Fine, B., Heasnan, M. & Vriglt, J., Consumption in the age of
affluence: the world of food
39. Tlis desire lor sonetling better is laden witl noral judgenents ol taste.
It is also liglly de¡endent on econonic and cultural ca¡ital. tle narket lall
is not necessarily a welconing setting lor everyone. It is not only a question
ol ¡rolibitive ¡rices, because tle ¡rice level is not always ligler, it is also
a question ol leeling at ease, and laving tle tine and energy to go to tle
narket lall just to do tle lood slo¡¡ing. For a ¡oignant descri¡tion ol tle
¡ower ¡lay ol taste and its noral undercurrents, see Gutlnan, J., °Fast lood}
organic lood. reßexive tastes and tle naking ol 'yu¡¡ie clow`º, Social & Cul-
tural Geography, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2003.
40. Freidberg, S., ºNot all sweetness and liglt. New cultural geogra¡lies ol
loodº Social and Cultural Geography, 4(1) 2003, ¡¡. 3-6, Cook. I., °New lruits
and vanity. Synbolic ¡roduction in tle global lood econonyº, In A. Bon-
anno, L. Buscl, V. H. Friedland, L. Gouveia and L. Mingione (eds.), From Co-
lumbus to ConAgra: The Globalization of Agriculture and Foods, Gutlnan, J., °Fast
lood}organic lood. Reßexive tastes and tle naking ol 'yu¡¡ie clow`º, Social
and Cultural Geography, 4(1) 2003, ¡¡. 45-58.
318 epilogue
In tle narket lalls ol today, tle s¡atial arrangenents ol traditional
lorns ol distribution lold tleir own clarn. You slo¡ over tle counter,
receive ¡ersonal service, and grant yoursell tle luxury ol allowing tlings
to take tine. Tle desire lor ¡ersonal service can tlus be seen as a desire
lor ex¡ert knowledge, and lor genuine, autlentic interactions witl sone-
one wlo las nore ¡rolound ex¡ertise in lood tlan tle su¡ernarket stall.
It is also a question ol reassurance. lere you lave a lunan counter¡art,
soneone to talk to wlo can ex¡lain tlings to you and to wlon you can
return and con¡lain il wlat you bouglt was not to your liking. Personal
contact can seen nore a¡¡ealing tlan tle snall letters on tle ordinary
lood ¡ackages stating tle ingredients and tle nutritive value.
Lvery tine ¡eriod las its own doninant sales lornats, even il ¡arallel
lornats coexist. Vlicl lornat turns out as tle nost successlul de¡ends
on tle current social, cultural, ¡olitical, and econonical trends. Tle sur-
rounding context dehnes wlat ¡roblens and wlat issues need to be ad-
dressed, and in wlat nanner it nakes sense to address tlen. Tle locus
in tle ¡eriod lron tle late nineteentl century to tle beginning ol tle
twentietl century was tle city. low could tle city best ensure a sale and
sulhcient lood su¡¡ly· One ol tle crucial ¡roblens was to actually get
tle lood into tle city in acce¡table condition and at a lair ¡rice. Here tle
narket lall seened an attractive alternative as tley were olten centrally
located, and tlerelore tle trans¡ortation costs could be reduced. Fron
tle 1930s, tle city lad a systen ol neiglborlood stores ada¡ted to tle
inlabitants wlo walked or bicycled to do tleir slo¡¡ing. Tlis systen
cane into ¡lace since tle local trans¡ortation ¡roblens lad been solved
by truck tralhc. Tle rising ¡rivate car ownersli¡ nade ly¡ernarkets
outside tle city centers nore attractive. New labits and constraints on
¡eo¡le`s lives nade long o¡ening lours nore in¡ortant to sone tlan
considerations ol ¡rice.
A latigue ol large-scale and ly¡er-rationality nade snall size and ¡er-
sonal toucl valuable assets. Tlis is wlat cleared tle way lor tle return
ol tle narket lall, wlicl in nany ways is tle antitlesis ol large-scale
cool rationality, at least on a su¡erhcial level. Tle large retail clains did
tleir best to ada¡t to tle new denands ol tle consuner. In order to re-
s¡ond to tle criticisn ol in¡ersonal ly¡er-rationality, tley introduced
new snall stores, and rebuilt tle big ly¡ernarkets witl nanual counters
resenbling tlose in narket lalls. Tle return ol tle nanual service coun-
ter inside an otlerwise sell-service landsca¡e las not been a straigltlor-
ward develo¡nent. Since nanual counters are nore ex¡ensive to stall,
tleir ¡o¡ularity las varied, de¡ending on tle general state ol tle narket,
new beginnings? 319
tle target grou¡, and tle location ol tle su¡ernarket in tle overall con-
sun¡tion landsca¡e.

Fron tle 1990s, nany big su¡ernarket clains also ollered nore or-
ganic loods and nore s¡ecialties. Tlis tendency las been accentuated
during tle hrst decade ol tle twenty-hrst century. Vlen tle big actors
¡ick u¡ ideas and trends lron tle snall nicle narkets, and include snall-
scale actors in tleir own systens, tle ¡ur¡ose is to ¡roht lron tle a¡¡eal
ol tle snall-scale alternatives. At tle sane tine, tle big actors are nak-
ing tle criticisn inlerent in tle snall-scale alternatives nore innocuous
by co-o¡ting tlen, wlicl could be seen as a lorn ol re¡ressive tolerance.
Tle a¡¡eal ol tle alternative lood distribution networks is tlus trans-
lorned and integrated into existing lornats witlin tle doninant systen.
Tle ly¡ernarkets negotiate tle tlreat ol tle snall alternatives into a
lybrid lorn tlat suits tle ly¡ernarket structure.
On a global scale, we lave retail giants like Val-Mart entering tle or-
ganic ¡roduce sector, or Vlole Foods, wlo are trying to ¡lay tle local
card and clain tlat tleir ¡roducts are sourced locally. Tlis las s¡urned
criticisn ol °greenwaslingº, or °localwaslingº. Vlole Foods, wlicl
started out as a counterculture res¡onse to large-scale retailing in tle late
1970s, las by tle early twenty-hrst century turned into a large-scale retail
business. Miclael Pollan calls tle greenwasling tactics a °su¡ernarket

Ilbery and Knealsey identily a °¡laceless loodsca¡eº ol nanulactured,
industrial lood, wlicl is tle legacy ol tle nodern conventional lood sys-
Marsden s¡eaks ol a °quality battlegroundº in tle nodern lood
clain, wlere lood labeling ol ¡lace and ¡rovenance is beconing one ol
tle key issues in tle conten¡orary lood landsca¡e.
Tlis also allects tle
conventional lood systens, wlere su¡ernarkets are ta¡¡ing into tle nar-
ket ol organic, and sonetines also locally-¡roduced ¡roducts, in wlat
can be terned atten¡ts at greenwasling and}or localwasling.

Tle narket lall enbraces nany ol tlese tendencies, and lel¡s us
understand low a lood systen could take on nany dillerent lorns and
41. Hultén, S., Omvandlingen av dagligvaruhandeln 1970-89, ¡. 77-80, Ossians-
son, L., Nätverk i förändring, ¡. 171-178.
42. Pollan, M., The Omnivore’s Dilemma, ¡. 137.
43. Ilbery, B. & Knealsey, M., °Registering Regional S¡ecialty Food and Drink
Products in tle UK. Tle Case ol PDOs and PGIsº, Area 32(3). 317-25, 2000.
44. Marsden, T., “Tleorising lood quality. sone key issues in understanding
its con¡etitive ¡roduction and regulationº, In M. Harvey, A. McMeekin & A.
Varde (eds.), Qualities of food, ¡. 152.
45. Morgan, K., Marsden, T. & Murdocl, J., Worlds of food: place, power and prov-
enance in the food chain.
320 epilogue
reinvent itsell as tle surrounding consun¡tion landsca¡e evolves. Tle
renaissance ol tle narket lall can be seen in tle context ol late nodern
cultures ol consun¡tion wlere ex¡erience is tle key. Sone ol tle benehts
ol tle narket lall are successlully translerred to tle su¡ernarket context,
otlers are in¡ossible to co¡y. Tle crucial question is wlat tle custoner
tlinks, and ol even nore vital in¡ortance is wlere tle custoner slo¡s.
Tle desire lor otler lorns ol distribution las led to a renaissance lor
larner`s narkets as well. It las also leralded a return to local lood and
snall-scale ¡roducers, wlicl is sinilar, but not identical, to tle renais-
sance ol tle narket lalls.
Now we ¡artly see a return ol tle local. Tlere
are locavore novenents and an en¡lasis on tle locally ¡roduced.
tlis is nostly a natter ol ideals, and tle actual econonic in¡act is low.
Lven so, tle u¡grade ol tle local is not unclallenged, and tlere are sev-
eral atten¡ts at discrediting tle alternative lood networks.
Several sclolars lave ¡ointed out a ¡aradox in tlis ¡reoccu¡ation witl
lood quality, abundance, and lood salety, wlereby tle secure and abun-
dant lood su¡¡ly in tle Vestern world is ironically tle systen nost likely
to induce lood scares and anxieties.
In tlis context, tle inage ol tle
snall ¡roducer, tle larn(er), and tle region contributes to tle legitinacy
ol tle ¡roduct, just like wlen tle store SoderCleesen
(Soutlern Cleese
store) sells ¡roducts lron Birgittas Matbod (Birgitta`s Food Store) and
Rosas clark (Rosa`s Delicatessen) on Öland. Anotler exan¡le is wlen
tle butcler store Sandstrons kott ocl catering (Sandstron`s neat and
catering) uses ¡ictures ol tle beel cattle grazing ¡eace lully on Gotland,
witl accon¡anying text about tle °naturalº and hrst-rate conditions tle
neat is ¡roduced under. Tle rural nature, tle cultural landsca¡es, and
tle local knowledge are linked to tle essence ol lood ¡roduction.

46. Morgan, K., Marsden, T. & Murdocl, J., Worlds of food, D. Maye, L. Hollo-
way & M. Knealsey (eds.) Alternative food geographies: representation and practice.
47. Morgan, K., Marsden, T. & Murdocl, J., Worlds of food, Goodnan, D. &
Goodnan, M., “Localisn, liveliloods and tle `¡ost-organic`. Clanging ¡er-
s¡ectives on alternative lood networks in tle United Statesº, In D. Maye, L.
Holloway & M. Knealsey (eds.), Constructing alternative food geographies; DuPuis,
L. M. & Goodnan, D., °Slould we go °loneº to eat·. toward a reßexive ¡oli-
tics ol localisnº, Journal of Rural Studies 21, 2005, ¡. 359-371.
48. Marsden, T., Flynn, A. & Harrison, M., Consuming interests: the social provi-
sion of foods.
49. Actually, tlis is a word gane tlat alludes to an ex¡ression about an in-
labitant lron tle Soutlern ¡art ol Stockloln and cleese lron tle sane
50. Marsden, T., “Tleorising lood quality. sone key issues in understanding
its con¡etitive ¡roduction and regulationº, In M. Harvey, A. McMeekin & A.
new beginnings? 321
Ve can see tle sane lorces at work wlen Janie Oli ver ¡ublisles a
book entitled °Janie`s Seasonsº, wlicl locuses on eating according to
tle seas ons, or wlen young clels lornulate tle Manilesto lor tle New
Nordic Kitclen, witl its declaration to use only local ingredients. Tle
avid interest in and tle success ol tle larner`s narkets are also indi cators
ol an increasing inclination towards local lood and lood labeled lron
s¡ecihc regions. Tlis trend is noticed by tle conventional lood systens,
wlo tlen seek to enter tlis ¡rohtable narket. Local and seasonal lood is
given a ligler value, botl in terns ol lealtliness and tle in¡act on tle
environnent. Tle organic lood sector is increasingly integrated into tle
conventional circuits, and tle big retail clains are trying to acconnodate
tle new denand lor local lood by ¡rocuring loods lron local ¡roducers.
Vlat does tlis nean lor tle narket lall context· In ¡art, tlese are trends
tlat were ¡resent and allected tle vendors and tle custoners wlen tle
heldwork lor tlis book was undertaken in 2005-2006. A cou¡le ol years
later, tlis trend las becone nore noticeable, witl ads lor seasonal lood
in tle norning news¡a¡ers and clinate clange issues even nore ¡resent
in daily lile and on tle ¡o litical agenda.
Tle unequal distribution ol wealtl las translated into a trenendous-
ly diversihed narket, and tlis las lad ellects on tle loodsca¡es as well.
Never belore las tle world lad sucl a wide assortnent ol lood. Tle rise
ol tle diversihed loodsca¡es, wlere tle narket lall is but one ex¡ression,
coincides witl a trenendous redistribution ol wealtl to tle to¡ segnents
ol society. Tle loundation lor tle current lood systen builds on ¡ov-
erty and class dillerences. Tlere is an unequal distribution ol risks and ol
quality loods.
Tle quality loods are subsidized in a sense by tle lact tlat
tle vast najority ol tle global ¡o¡ulation eats standardized, large-scale,
loods tlat are not always sale. Tlese loods are ¡roduced under disgrace-
lul conditions wlicl are detrinental to tle environnent, to ¡lants
and aninals. In addition, tle conditions are woelul lor tle illegal inni-
grant workers involved at all tle invisible junctions ol tle lood clain.
Tle luxury, tle organic, tle autlentic, and tle lair-trade loods are
so clea¡ only because ol an arny ol under¡aid workers, tle subsidized
trans¡orts, and because tle vast najority continues to consune subsi-
dized, sub-quality loods. Il every one ate locally-¡roduced organic loods
wlere tle workers were adequately con¡ensated, wlere tle aninals did
not suller, and tle cro¡s and vegetables were grown in a sustainable
laslion, tle cost ol lood would sky-rocket. At tle sane tine, it is in¡os-
Varde, (eds.), Qualities of food, ¡. 131.
51. For a classic exan¡le ol tlis view, see Beck, U., Risk society: towards a new
322 epilogue
sible to continue on tle ¡atl ol conventional lood ¡roduction, tlat is,
business as usual. Tle lood systen is neitler econonically, socially or
environnentally sustainable in its current lorn. Tle global inbalances
in lood ¡roduction and consun¡tion tlreaten to undernine our luture
existence. Tle true costs ol lood renain lidden in tle current lood sys-
Tle rise in status lor lood only concerns tle glossy side ol quality
loods lor tle select lew. A connunity ol gastronones ßoats on to¡ ol a
nass ol invisible lood workers. Tle lood connoisseurs generally ¡reler to
linit tleir interaction only witl tle clarning, witty, and knowledgeable
lood ex¡erts, wlo converse on all as¡ects ol tle lood clain tlat lave an
a¡¡etizing, a¡¡ealing story to be told. Tle stories about lood wlere tle
locus is ¡rovenance only reveal tle glanorous ¡arts ol tle loodsca¡e. Tle
elegant restaurants, as well as tle nanilestos ol local lood and sustain-
able ¡ractices are con¡elling, but wlat about tle busboys, tle cleaners,
and tle otler workers lower down tle clain· Neglected are tle invisible
workers wlo create tle inviting lood landsca¡es wlere tle gastronon-
ic u¡¡er-niddle classes can dis¡lay tleir good taste and tleir su¡erior
Vitl tle erosion ol tle nation state in tle ¡ost-Fordist world, tle
city and tle region lave reenerged as su¡rene entities. In tle new glob-
al world order, cities are increasingly con¡eting lor tle sane s¡ace, tle
sane econonic, social, and cultural ca¡ital. In order to attract lootloose
ca¡ital, city olhcials resort to tle sane kind ol strategies. Catcl-¡lrases
like °¡utting tle city on tle na¡º and buzzwords like °¡lace ¡ronotionº
are used to evoke lilestyles and creative environnents associated witl
econonic success. A vibrant city lull ol attractive, autlentic consun¡-
tion s¡aces is increasingly ¡art ol tle urban regeneration sclenes, and
lere lood and drink are accorded a great signihcance as lornative ol a
desirable urban landsca¡e.
In tlese urban landsca¡es, tle urban-rural
52. C. D. Tlon¡son & M. Viggins (eds.), The Human Cost of Food: Farm worker
Lives, Labor, and Advocacy, Patel, R., Stuffed and starved, Getz, C. & Slreck, A.,
°Vlat organic and Fair Trade labels do not tell us. towards a ¡lace-based
understanding ol certihcationº, International Journal of Consumer Studies, 30, 5,
Se¡tenber 2006, ¡. 490-501, Gutlnan, J., °Fast lood}organic lood. Reßexive
tastes and tle naking ol 'yu¡¡ie clow`º, Social and Cultural Geography, 4(1)
53. Zukin, S., Landscapes of Power, Jayne, M., Cities and consumption, Bell, D.,
°Tle los¡itable cityº, Progress in Human Geography 31(1), 2007, ¡. 7-22. But
tlis las also engendered exan¡les ol a bland urban ex¡erience, a conlornist
uniqueness. See Zukin, S., °Urban lilestyles. diversity and standardization in
s¡aces ol consun¡tionº, Urban Studies, Vol. 35, Nos. 5-6, 825-839, 1998.
new beginnings? 323
interde¡endence and co-¡roduction are olten nade botl invisible and
in¡ossible. But tle consequences ol wlicl distribution inlrastructure we
close lave long-lasting ellects - so low do we want tle luture·
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