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Promotional activity proved key to the success of department stores in fending off competition from the expanding chain stores, by drawing in customers to their large, central premises. This article uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative archival data to examine the promotional methods of interwar British department stores, variations in the promotional mix between types of store, and returns to promotional activities. A number of distinct regional promotional strategies are identified, shaped by variations in the types of consumer markets served. We also find considerable policy convergence among stores towards using promotional activity primarily as a means of imprinting a strong institutional brand image in the minds of the consuming public.