Sowing Consumers in the Garden of Mass Retailing in Chile

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It is known that some key elements of modern consumer credit were originally developed in department stores. However, almost no attention has been given to new developments in this area. This paper studies the case of retail credit in Chile. Special attention is given to a particular technique known as “to sow” (or issuing small loans to risky consumers that are made to grow by carefully following and classifying purchase and debt behaviour), whose success has been enabled by the development of a wide quantitative datascape. Following the practice of “sowing” helps to understand not only how consumer credit is mediated by market devices, but how it practically works as a device of marketing on its own.
Original languageEnglish
JournalConsumption, Markets & Culture
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)429-447
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


  • Consumer Credit
  • Department Stores
  • Market Devices
  • Social Studies of Finance
  • Marketing
  • Chile

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