Under communism a low priority was accorded to retailing in Poland. There was substantial suburban under provision on the grounds that public transport services allowed shopping to be undertaken in city centres. Shops were grouped by type into country-wide associations, although many of the department stores built in the 1960s and 1970s were controlled by a co-operative, Społem. Privatisation legislation was introduced the year after the soft revolution of 1989, the establishment of a system of rents being supervised by local authorities. Details of the privatisation process are provided for the main shopping street in Łódź, the second largest Polish city. Shops have been refurbished, Western products are widespread, many low-order goods have migrated, foreign firms and small multiples have appeared and stability reigns after the initial experimental period. The new developments have made the street a focal point for the city, but elements of the old system nevertheless remain.
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|Published - Jan 1997