1810 - Trader's Shop

By the early 1800s shops had assumed recognisable form, as place where traders could display and sell their wares. Most commodities were made on the premises. Prices were negotiable and instead of paying cash, almost everything was bought on account. Why did these small businesses often give way in later years to the major chains?

Lock and Co, Hatters. By the mid-18th century, with the Industrial Revolution well under way, there was a pronounced acceleration of commercial activity in Britain . With it came an enhanced demand among the better-off for consumer goods - items of luxury and fashion, rather than everyday necessities. And so shops grew up that specialised in clothes, furniture, guns, eyeglasses, scientific or musical instruments and other forms of hand-made goods, produced on the premises to the individual order of the customer. In attracting potential purchasers, much importance was attached to a shop's outward appearance and, in particular, to the way goods were displayed. Where shops had commonly been open-fronted, a pair of neat bow windows flanking a central doorway now became a favourite form of frontage, letting light into the shop and allowing passers-by to see samples of the items on sale within. The shop design would typically be simple and yet elegant, reflecting the craft skills of the carpenter who designed and built it rather than any architectural pretensions. This hatter's business - still flourishing today- was established in 1676 in London 's fashionable St James's. Being so close to the Palace of St James , the noxious process of 'felting' the beaver or hare fur out of which hats were made was banished to distant Bermondsey, and only the subsequent shaping and trimming was carried out on the premises. The facade was updated about 1728, and the shop window renewed again in the early 1800s. Lord Nelson came here in 1805 to be fitted for his famous cocked hat with its special eye shade, which he wore when mortally wounded at Trafalgar; it is now on his effigy in Westminster Abbey.

1750 - Village Shop

1828 - Going Upmarket