Newly published: Het winkellandschap van Amsterdam [The shopping landscape of Amsterdam]

Clé Lesger

15 November 2013

Overhanging awnings, signs, displays in front of the façade, and basic interiors were once typical for the shops in Amsterdam. Over the past centuries, the exterior and interior of the shops have experienced major changes.

In his new book on the shopping landscape of Amsterdam (1550-2000), Clé Lesger analyses these major transformations in conjunction with developments in architecture, technological innovations and the emergence of department stores and other large retail facilities, as well as with the changing preferences and purchasing power of consumers. Furthermore, Lesger shows that the location of shops closely corresponded to patterns of accessibility in the urban fabric, which in their turn were established during periods of urban expansion and other major interventions in the urban landscape. Only in the second half of the twentieth century, the advent of modern shopping malls in the suburbs has fundamentally transformed the spatial structure of the retail business. The many illustrations and maps in the book visualize these major shifts over the centuries in a beautiful way.


Clé Lesger is senior lecturer Social History at the University of Amsterdam.

Clé Lesger, Het winkellandschap van Amsterdam. Stedelijke structuur en winkelbedrijf in de vroegmoderne en moderne tijd, 1550-2000 (Hilversum: verloren, 2013) 472 p. ISBN 9789087043735. € 40.

Published by  ACUH