About the Shop Talk project

Shop Talk: Department Stores, Shoppers and Consumer Capitalism, 1945-2025 is funded by the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Project scheme (DP220100943).

This project aims to provide a deeper understanding of shopping and its significance in everyday Australian life. The oral history interviews with shoppers, workers and managers will examine the different ways that Australians have engaged with department stores since 1945.

By locating, documenting and analysing these stories and experiences, this project will develop new, more nuanced perspectives of shopping in Australia and produce the first history of the country’s post-war department stores.

In addition to providing new insights into the sector’s current challenges, the project’s innovative long-term analysis will also benefit researchers examining the retail sector while allowing everyday Australians to place their unique insights and recollections on the historical record.