Chapter 9: Twenty Years On – Retailer Advertising During and Since the Fall of the Soviet Union: Tallinna Kaubamaja, ‘Estonia’s Department Store’
9 Twenty years on – retailer advertising during and since the fall of the Soviet Union: Tallinna Kaubamaja, “Estonia’s Department Store” Brent McKenzie INTRODUCTION The purpose of this chapter is to use a case study approach (Eisenhardt, 1989) to document the role of retailer advertising in Estonia. The store, Tallinna Kaubamaja (“Tallinn’s Department Store” in Estonian) was selected as it is one of the few traditional department stores that opened during the Soviet period (1960), and continued to exist during the reindependence period in the early 1990s and the privatization period in the mid 1990s. The store continues to operate today and is currently the largest department store in the Baltic states. The case study will align with the various periods of the last 50 years in terms of the types and role of advertising, as it pertains to traditional advertising objectives, as well as its role in retailer brand success. The case findings are drawn from an extensive review of secondary sources, as well as primary research obtained through interviews by the author with current and former employees of Tallinna Kaubamaja. The intent of this case study is both to provide insights as to successful and unsuccessful aspects of a retailer’s advertising in a little studied region, and also to provide some historic perspectives as to how advertising as a concept, and in practice, has evolved from the Soviet period. THE RETAIL SECTOR AND ADVERTISING DURING THE SOVIET PERIOD The two-prong focus of the Soviet economic system was based upon...
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