The twentieth century saw a decline in the social prestige and role of shopkeepers, stripped of their historical double function of retailers and artisans. Indeed, they lost their role as cultural actors, becoming relegated to mere economic intermediaries between mass production and consumers. However, recently the demise of Fordist economy and the development of the neo-craft industries paved the way to a resurgence of artisanal retailing, which relevance is confirmed both by a peculiar category of workers and shops and by the permeating brand of artisanal production in retailing. This chapter firstly contextualises and explains the cultural and economic processes that made this resurgence possible. Then, based on ethnographic research composed of participant observation notes and interviews with food and beverage micro-entrepreneurs, analyses the fundamental features of marketing and branding strategies enacted in the food and beverage neo-craft retailing.
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