Gunther Barth presents us with the idea that heavy migration to the city contributed to the rise of the department store. However, part of this success is largely due to the influence of women. According to Barth, “the social dynamics of the modern city in the United States generated the momentum that brought the full-fledged department store into existence.” (121) In essence the department store allowed for a largely feminine public zone. The department stores flourished on concentrated female, urban markets, however, with the societal shift towards suburbanization changed this. The department store within a suburban area, it seems, is now the strip mall or shopping mall. This area however, is still largely dominated by one gender. In an attempt to prove the importance placed on domesticity , particular attention will be paid to Snellville’s “The Avenue”. In this particular area one can see the continued influence of women in the market place.
The Avenue is a smaller, open air shopping mall with a largely suburban mindset. In these photos we can see that the emphasis on family and home life is clearly there. In the first photo we notice that there are two children’s stores and a home decor one as well. In this sense we can say that the largely feminine origins of department stores has shifted to a more family oriented shopping experience.
There is also a unique environment on how men play a role in this domestic sphere. The store, Men’s Warehouse, is a store with the professional man in mind. In this sense it is clear that it hearkens to the traditional role of men to contribute to home life as providers and largely out of the everyday life of the family. This can also be seen in the photo with Jos A. Bank in the background.