‘In the Best Position to Reap Mutually Beneficial Results’: Sole-agency Agreements and the Distribution of Consumer Durables in Inter-war Britain

Nicholas D. Wong*, Andrew Popp

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

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This article uses a case-study approach to explore the use of exclusive sole-agency agreements in the distribution and retailing of specialty branded consumer durables in inter-war Britain, a neglected topic in the business history literature. Utilising an extensive correspondence between piano manufacturer Broadwood and Sons, and Liverpool-based musical instrument retailer Rushworth and Dreaper (with comparisons made with two smaller sets of manufacturer–retailer correspondence) we argue that the stability of a sole-agency agreement encouraged the emergence of a highly reciprocal and collaborative relationship that led to innovations in marketing, selling, branding and product development. We urge a reconsideration of the value and effect of sole-agency agreements.
TidsskriftBusiness History
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)884-907
Antal sider24
StatusUdgivet - 2018
Udgivet eksterntJa


  • Sole-agency agreements
  • Pianos
  • Consumer goods
  • Retailing
  • Inter-war Britain