Retailing and Distribution

Colleagues working in this area research and publish on a range of topics.

Dr Simon Constantine’s research on the Sinti and Roma has been influenced by the group’s interest in itinerant trade and its regulation, and on the marginalisation of traveling groups. 

Dr David Hussey and Dr Margaret Ponsonby’s work on the relationship between early modern single status and material culture, the work of Dr Richard Hawkins on brand development and entrepreneurship, Dr Ian Mitchell’s on retail innovation in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Dr Alison Toplis’s on rural dress and smock frocks, and Prof Laura Ugolini’s research into military uniforms, are indicative of the diversity of the research conducted within the cluster.

Explore Retailing and Distribution

Research in this area is coordinated by the Centre for the History of Retailing and Distribution (CHORD), established in 1998 as an international hub for research in this area. Under Professor Laura Ugolini’s leadership, this research centre hosts the annual CHORD conference, which remains the major international forum for scholarly exchange in the field, as well as workshops on a range of themes, a popular programme of on-line seminars and ‘taster’ events, and a thriving series of related blog publications. Find out more about CHORD here.

CHORD builds upon the interests and expertise of a number of University of Wolverhampton staff, with publications in areas that include early modern retailing and distribution, the menswear trade, the retailing and consumption of furniture, early Victorian markets and department stores, as well as the on-line Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities 1550-1820, available here.


  • Richard Hawkins, A Pacific Industry: The History of Pineapple Canning in Hawaii, (2020)
  • Simon Constantine, ‘Denying the Right to Work: German Trade Regulation and Anti-Gypsy Policy 1871-1914’, History of Retailing and Consumption, (2021)
  • David Hussey (with Margaret Ponsonby), Buying for the Home: Shopping for the Domestic from the Seventeenth Century to the Present, (2017)
  • Laura Ugolini and John Benson (eds.), Cultures of Selling: Perspectives on Consumption and Society since 1700, (2018)
  • Laura Ugolini’ ‘The Recruiting Muddle: Married Men, Conscription and Masculinity in First World War England’, First World War Studies, (2018)