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Going Up, Going Down! is the second title in the new series AUP Studies in Cultural and Social History edited by Caroline Daley and Deborah Montgomerie, a series of richly illustrated medium-length books, reflecting New Zealand's distinctive and sometimes quirky history. This lively account of the New Zealand department store with its stunning photographs will revive many memories of the delights of department store shopping, raise some smiles and remind us of the role of a cultural icon which was also a dominant player in the urban economy. This book revisits the variety, excitement and colourful stories of some of New Zealand's large department stores, most of which have now disappeared, although many of their buildings remain as unidentified inner city landmarks. Its chapter format echoes the rise and subsequent descent of many of those department stores, in a lift attendant's announcements of the passing floors. Helen Laurenson's extensive research has uncovered many fascinating facts about individual stores like Kirkaldie and Stains, Ballantynes and George Courts, and she also includes much of interest about the layout of the stores, the people who worked there, and the goods they sold. She charts the historical pattern from the stores - beginnings to their heyday in the 1950s to their decline and more modest presence in the contemporary city.
Helen Laurenson returned to the University of Auckland after 42 years, much of that time spent as a Librarian, to complete a BA degree in English and History. Awarded an MA with First Class Honours in History in 2004, her thesis which subsequently formed the basis of this book was entitled ? ?Going Up?- Going Down!?: The Rise and Fall of Auckland Department Stores 1920-1960?.