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Retrospectives in Marketing (RIM)

A newsletter of the Association for Historical Research in Marketing (AHRIM)
July 2004 Vol. 17 No. 1
Robert D. Tamilia editor, University of Quebec at Montreal
From the Editor

This past winter, we saw the passing of our founding father, Stan Hollander. It was with great sadness and sorrow to learn of his death. As a result, this issue of RIM is devoted to his memory. Two people who know him very well, notably Brian Jones and Robert Nason, have contributed very thoughtful and moving comments on his life and his contributions. His passing was a bit of a shock to me because just a week before his death, I was at the Ohio State University Main library in Columbus, searching for new references on the history of retailing. All of sudden, a small book on one of the shelves caught my eyes. It was Stan’s doctoral dissertation done in 1954. It was reproduced in 1986 in honor of some of the best dissertations done. I started to read it and I was immediately struck by its content. The topic was on the role of pricing in retailing and wholesaling and to what extent discount pricing was not a new phenomenon in the 1950s, the beginning of discounting era in the US (see the two listed references below). It was well written, of course, and very meticulously researched. The Hollander legacy was evident throughout the dissertation. He was able to get hold of articles and trade publications that would put today’s doctoral students to shame. In fact, Stan was not afraid to reference trade articles, a tradition that too many students today neglect. It was marvelous to read his dissertation. Not only did it remind me of the man who wrote it, but it also showed how his mind worked and how well organized he was in a world devoid of photocopiers, PCs and electronic search engines. He must have spent an incredible amount of time at various libraries trying to locate the information pertinent to his research. His research approach should be an inspiration to all of us marketing historians.

It would be very hard to find among CHARMERS one who was not influenced by his published work or his words of wisdom during our conference meetings. It would be interesting to know of the number of PhDs he actually taught over the years. He probably taught more than any other living marketing professors. I do not know at this stage if the American Marketing Association, the Academy of Marketing Science, or other academic/business groups plan to officially recognize the contributions to the marketing discipline of this great scholar. It is unfortunate that us academics don’t have a Marketing Hall of Fame for our scholars like the ones that exist in baseball, hockey, tennis or other sports. Honoring such great scholars and contributors to human knowledge should be a priority. In this media dominated world when some unknown people achieve their 2 minutes worth of fame on stage (think of reality shows on TV), it is rather disconcerting that people who have devoted their entire lives in the pursuit of knowledge such as Stan Hollander cannot be recognized to the same degree as world renowned athletes. Over the course of his life, he probably spent a lot more at the library time and writing the hours away than most athletes spend time training and competing. Many other disciplines have their academic heroes who are worshiped and remembered, notably in economics, sociology, and in other social and hard sciences, but what about marketing? These other disciplines make sure that current and future generations of students and scholars honor those who have shaped and molded their discipline. Unfortunately, historical research in marketing or marketing thought and history courses are not what I would call part of mainstream marketing, even if we our group is alive and growing. When was the last time you saw a school recruiting a marketing historian? I sure hope that those in charge of mainstream marketing recognize the scholarship contributed by Stan Hollander in some permanent way.

Hollander, Stanley (1954), “Discount Retailing–An Examination into Some Divergences in the Price System of American Retailing,” unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Pennsylvania.  

Hollander, Stanley (1955), "The ‘One-Price System’–Fact or Fiction?" Journal of Retailing, Vol. 31 (Fall No. 3), pp. 127-144. The article shows that discounting is a long time practice of retailers. As result, it cannot be said that the discounting phenomena of the 1950s cannot be a marketing revolution. The article is based on his dissertation.

The Honor Roll in Retailing, published in the Journal of Retailing Vol. 41 (Spring No. 1), pp. 48-49, lists the roster of America’s Retailing Leaders. That year, the New York University Institute of Retail Management conferred to Stan Hollander an honorary membership in the Alpha Chapter of the Eta Mu Pi Fraternity, the only fraternity of its kind in the field of retailing. What was said about Stan would be too long to reproduce in full here. Suffice it to give you a glimpse on what was said

Retailing education glows in the brightness of Stanley C. Hollander’s provocative writings. He is that rare man who looks at common facts and interprets them with an uncommon viewpoint. Through his explorations of marketing theory, he devises new approaches to retailing practices. Moreover, he has expressed these fresh ideas with sharp clarity in books, monographs, and articles, which would fill a five-foot shelf (p. 49).

Of course, the five-foot shelf was in 1965, or almost 40 years before he left us. What amount of shelf space would it take today to display all of his work? 

Other News…

Daniel Boorstin died last February. It would be much appreciated to have someone send me some comments about this very influential and famous American historian. I will make sure to include in the next issue of RIM.

For some of you history buffs, the omnipresent bar code is celebrating its 30th anniversary in late June. It revolutionized the retail world and business in general. Now a new technology is about to replace it called RFID or radio frequency identification. But what is forgotten is that Clarence Saunders, a retailer, was also a contributor, albeit a small one, to the bar code technology but 40 years earlier. Here’s a brief summary of what he did.

Clarence Saunders developed a cash-carry store, a self-service food store called Piggly Wiggly in September 1916, in Memphis Tenn. Later, he secured a patent on the store layout called Keedoozle, a completely automated store, based on modern supply chain principles. The Saunders’ patented Keedoozle store innovation, opened in 1937 but closed in 1949. It consisted of a ticker tape hand-held “scanner.” A consumer simply pointed it at each product on display upon entering the store. The order was then automatically transmitted to a clerk who received each order and proceeded to put the selected products on a conveyer belt. The consumer then proceeded to the cash register which now had all the products purchased along with the ticker tape cash receipt. It was far too futuristic back then and even today. His new innovation was not successful he died in 1953.  

A Tribute to Stanley C. Hollander, MSU Marketing Scholar

By Professor Robert W. Nason, Chairperson, Department of Marketing & Supply Chain Management The Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University.

EAST LANSING, Mich.– Stanley C. Hollander, a Professor Emeritus of marketing at Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business, died on March 9, 2004. He was 84.  

Stan Hollander was the leading authority on retailing and historical thought in marketing.  His extensive work in the evolutionary processes and cycles in retailing earned him a place in the Retail Educators Hall of Fame. His interest in the changes in retailing led him to a broader exploration of the changes in marketing thought as the field developed throughout the 20th century. Again, he earned the highest respect from his academic colleagues. In 1988 a festschrift was published, Historical Perspectives in Marketing: Essays in Honor of Stanley C. Hollander. In 1997 the Stanley C. Hollander Best Paper Award was endowed for the Conference on Historical Analysis Research in Marketing (CHARM) and in 2003, that conference, which he initiated in 1983, was held in his honor.

Although first a leading scholar in retailing and then the father of the history of marketing thought field, he bridged these interests into Macromarketing and the Journal of Macromarketing (JMM). His yearly papers delivered to the Annual Macromarketing Conferences; his articles on sumptuary legislation (1984), consumer motivation (1986), interstate trade barriers (1994), and rental libraries (2001) in JMM; and his management of the flow of quality historical articles into the Journal as Section Editor (1996–2002) greatly enriched the field of Macromarketing.  In fact, 28 articles on historical thought were published under his reign. In the spring issue, 1995, JMM published an autobiographical description of his early years entitled “My Life on Mt. Olympus:  How I became a Herr Doktor Professor” (pp. 86-106  and from pp. 103-106 is a selected bibliography).

Stan Hollander, who officially retired in 1990, continued as a true scholar in the liberal sense rather than the more common empirical sense of business.  Until he lost his sight in later years, he spent his working life in libraries combing them for the fodder that his intellect brought to light with logic and insight. Even when functionally blind, he continued his scholarship by listening to books and articles through readers and reading machines. To this day his contribution to the literature has remained strong. He has written 10 books, edited another four, and contributed more than 125 articles to leading academic journals, many of which have been reprinted in anthologies.  He has an article forthcoming in the Journal of Macromarketing.

Dr. Hollander was a consummate patron of the arts. He was a familiar face at campus museums, musical events, and theatrical performances. He also traveled to all parts of the country and the world to learn about and experience performing arts. He especially enjoyed the visual arts, so much so that he and his wife have commissioned sculptures for MSU’s art museum, The Wharton Performing Arts Center, and library and have made generous gifts in support of the arts. As his eyesight failed in his later years, he frequently joked about a blind man being such a staunch supporter of the visual arts. His support of the performing arts on campus will also be felt for years to come in the form of four named endowed scholarship funds in the School of Music (in support of undergraduate students studying cello, violin, flute, and voice), and a named endowment that supports the Wharton Center for Performing Arts. The Hollanders were recognized for their exemplary support of MSU in 2002 when they received the MSU Alumni Association’s Philanthropists of the Year Award.

            Stan Hollander holds a bachelor’s degree from the New York University School of Commerce; a master’s degree in economics from The American University; and a doctorate in economics and marketing from the University of Pennsylvania.

During World War II, before entering graduate school, he served as a business analyst in the federal Office of Price Administration. After obtaining his doctorate, he taught at the University of Buffalo, the University of Minnesota and the University of Pennsylvania.  He met Selma Jacobs while he was teaching at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. Both New Yorkers, they were married in 1956 and moved to East Lansing in 1957 when Hollander took a position on the faculty at MSU. Stan Hollander is survived by his wife Selma, whose devotion made his successes possible. 

Stan Hollander – A Tribute 

Stan Hollander was 84 years young when he passed away on March 9, 2004. Stan understood that the most powerful force in life is love. His passions included his wife Selma, the arts, traveling, and fine food… oh, and his work.  Anyone who got to know Stan personally, knew that Stan and Selma were inseparable; they were best friends, traveled everywhere together, and were dedicated patrons and supporters of the arts donating numerous works of art to the Kellogg Center, Kresge Art Museum, Eli Broad School of Business, and to the Main Library–all at Michigan State University. Stan’s love of fine food was never more in evidence than at the 1997 marketing history conference where the chef at the Canadian Forces Base Kingston prepared for conference participants a special two-colored soup with the different colors swirling together in a spiral about which Stan told vivid stories for years afterwards. The irony, of course, was that Stan was blind.

Stan also had a passion for his work and for most of his career, especially the last 25 years or so, that work was marketing history. Up until his final days, he was working on an article about periodization in marketing history which will be published in the Journal of Macromarketing some time in late 2004 or early 2005. Stan understood that the greatest joy is giving and that the most satisfying work was helping others. In the early 1980s he founded and nurtured the marketing history conferences which more recently became known as CHARM (Conference on Historical Analysis & Research in Marketing). That acronym was Stan’s idea… he thought marketing historians were pretty charming! The marketing history conferences became Stan’s vehicle for encouraging historical scholarship in marketing. He drew in graduate students as well as young academics and attracted well-known, senior marketing scholars to the history conferences – to develop a historical perspective on whatever they were interested in.  His enthusiasm was contagious. Under Stan’s leadership during the past 20 plus years, more historical research has been published by marketing scholars than in the previous eight decades – since the beginning of the academic study of marketing. Whether it was organizing the marketing history conferences, creating and editing of a special marketing history section in the Journal of Macromarketing, editing special history issues of other marketing journals, or editing anthologies of marketing history articles, Stan created opportunities for others to publish historical research in marketing and, in that way, made it possible for others to share his passion for marketing history and–frankly, to stay employed as university professors at the same time! Personally, I know that without Stan’s encouragement, help, and mentorship, I would not have been able to enjoy the career working in marketing history that I have had over the past 17 years. Thank you, Stan, from all of us.

My most vivid memory of Stan is from a dinner at the 2003 CHARM, his last. The conference participants were gathered for dinner at the Beggar’s Banquet and there were about six or eight of us at Stan’s table. We were all laughing at a story Stan was telling, but none was laughing harder than Stan, so hard he had tears streaming down his face. He had the most wonderful sense of humor. It invariably came through in his personal correspondence and if you ever received one of those letters, keep it.  They are prized possessions.

So, we will remember Stan’s passion for marketing history and his encouragement of us to share that passion; we will remember his laughter, his love of fine food – and we will continue to gather every second year at the CHARM conferences which will grow better every time because of the dedicated leadership Stan provided us for over two decades.

We will miss him, but we will never forget him. 

Brian Jones, Quinnipiac University

Stan Hollander Interviews Reavis Cox at 2005 CHARM!!!!!!!!

 It’s no joke. In 1965 under the auspices of the American Marketing Association’s Education Division, several films were produced in which, according to then AMA President Bill Davidson, “elder statesmen in the academic field of marketing were interviewed, each by one of their graduate students who had become well known… in order to capture something of their personality and thoughts on film, to have available for posterity, especially for the teaching of the history of marketing and marketing thought”.  The series was titled “Conversations on Marketing.” Until now, only one film was thought to have survived, an interview of Theodore Beckman by his student Robert Buzzell which was shown at the 1993 marketing history conference. Well, the AHRIM has acquired a copy of a second film-the interview of Reavis Cox by his graduate student Stan Hollander. That half hour interview will be shown at the 2005 CHARM conference in Long Beach.  For full details about the 2005 CHARM, please check elsewhere on this website. 

Marketing History Literature: Recent Material 

The following three books have not been reviewed.

T. H. Breen (2004), The Marketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence, Oxford University Press.

Constance Hays (2004), The Real Thing Truth and Power at Coca-Cola Company, NY: Random House.

Leo Bogart (2003), Finding Out: Personal Adventures in Social Research-Discovering What People Think, Say and Do, Ivan R. Dee. This book was suggested to me by Roger Dickinson.

Wayne Morgan sent me information about an art exhibition held at the University of Western Ontario in London on North American culture, especially how the automobile “helped shaped cities, transcontinental road networks, the changing environment and the very conceptions of time and space” The exhibition featured cars named after First Nations used as a marketing tool such as: De Soto, Pontiac Starchief, and Chevy Apache truck.

Robert Tamila

 Strategies of Advertising Art, 1850-1933

German Historical Museum, Berlin

22 April – 29 August, 2004

While visiting Berlin in early June 2004, your Pacific RIM correspondent had the good fortune to see “Strategien der Werberkunst von 1850-1933,” a special exhibition at the Deutsches Historisches Museum on Unter den Linden.  

Arranged both chronologically and thematically, the exhibition began with examples of early manufacturer marks (e.g. Meissen porcelain); nineteenth-century German newspaper advertising; and the emergence of leading consumer brands such as Odol, Nivea, and Persil (see 1927 ad below).  Other displays covered posters as the people’s art; the street as a setting (die strasse als bühne) for signage, store windows, and promotional stunts; and media and politics including the infiltration of Nazism into 1930s’ advertising.

The overall impression – perhaps colored by this reporter’s rudimentary German language skills – is that although German marketing and consumer culture of the period may not have been as well-developed and exuberant as its American counterpart, it was still significant and had its own independent creative thrust.  Posters, rather than national magazines, appear to have been the leading advertising medium.

A beautifully illustrated, 367 page catalog in German can be purchased from the online museum store for € 25.  It contains a section of essays and a review of the exhibition. The museum website (www.dhm.de) also contains six different panoramic views of the actual installation.  

Terry Witkowski
Pacific RIM Correspondent


Public Markets and Civic Culture in Nineteenth-Century America by Helen Tangires (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003, 265 pp., $45.00) approaches the public food market as a place for commerce, a physical structure, and a political laboratory for establishing the purview of local government.  The first three chapters describe market laws, buildings, and culture during the period of the early Republic.  The second part of the book, spanning the second and third quarters of the nineteenth century, presents well-documented case studies of the forces driving the deregulation of public markets.  The final two chapters show how some reformers after the Civil War tried to combat private interests and regain control of food systems. 

This book fills a gap in the literature of early urban retailing.  It is based upon an impressive and eclectic assemblage of primary source material.  The physical appearances of public market houses, market participants, and market behavior are depicted in great detail by 90 drawings, watercolors, oil paintings, engravings, lithographs, and photographs.  However, the author’s litany of complaints about modern food systems – genetically modified organisms, problems with animal feeds, over-centralized production – and her strong bias against private food marketing make the reader wonder whether the data have been cherry-picked and the presentation slanted in favor of public markets. 

The narrative underplays macro trends – industrialized processing and distribution, innovations in packaging, manufacturers’ brands, and national advertising – that gave private food retailing the upper hand.  The book also doe not adequately present a consumer point of view.  Private grocery stores may have had higher prices, but were conveniently located, had the advantages of fixed prices and one-stop shopping, and allowed credit accounts that could be settled monthly.  In the public markets, shoppers were usually forced to haggle, pay in cash, and visit several stalls to find what they needed.  Municipalities too often failed to adequately maintain their existing market houses and to build enough new ones.

Keeping these limitations in mind, the reader with an interest in 19th century marketing, retailing, and food distribution still has much to gain from this book.

Terrence H. Witkowski
Pacific RIM Correspondent
California State University, Long Beach



Let’s hope that the next issue of RIM will again be full of interesting and insightful comments.


Dr. Robert D. Tamilia
Editor, RIM
Professor of Marketing
École des sciences de la gestion
University of Quebec at Montreal
P.O. Box 6192 Succ. Downtown
Montreal, Quebec Canada H3C 4R2
(514) 987-3000 ext 3897
Fax (514) 987-0422


Updated March 6, 2012.
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