Whole Earth Access

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Whole Earth Access
Former type Private subsidiary
Fate Shuttered
Founded Berkeley, California (1969)
Defunct 1998
Headquarters 2950 7th Street, Berkeley, California 94710 U.S.

The Whole Earth Access (1969 [1] - 1998) was a countercultural retail store in Berkeley, California. Two more shops were later opened San Rafael (1982) and San Francisco (1985).[2][3] By 1993 it also had stores in Concord, San Mateo and Sacramento. The San Mateo store closed first followed by all others with the Berkeley store finally closing in 1998.[2]

According to a 1985 issue of the store's Whole Earth Access Mail Order Catalog, (named after, but not connected to The Whole Earth Catalog which it also sold):

Our Berkeley store opened in 1969, inspired by but independent of The Whole Earth Catalog. It began by carrying books, a few woodstoves, a few power tools, and back-to-the-land equipment. Access to a wide variety of products was available at very low prices through special ordering from distributors' catalogs. Gradually the store began stocking the items most commonly ordered, and we now carry a wide range of top-quality products for basic living, still at very low prices. Our newest section is electronics and communications, which includes cameras, video, audio, and computers.[1]

Larry Farb commented in 1986 to the Los Angeles Times that, "we've grown up with our customers [...] the person who bought wood stoves in the '70s is buying cappuccino makers today."[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Whole Earth Access Mail Order Catalog: Access to quality products for good living at the lowest possible prices. Berkeley, California: Ten Speed Press, 1985: Inside front cover.
  2. ^ a b Whole Earth Access says it's closing all stores San Francisco Business Times, November 11 1998
  3. ^ a b Victor F. Zonana. "One of the Fastest-Growing Chains in U.S.: Whole Earth Access Stores are Bargain Basement for Yuppies." Los Angeles Times, May 19, 1986: E2

References[edit]

  • "The Back-to-Wood Boom." TIME. Dec. 05, 1977.
  • Whole Earth Access Mail Order Catalog: Access to quality products for good living at the lowest possible prices. Berkeley, California: Ten Speed Press, 1985.
  • Binkley, Sam. Getting Loose: Lifestyle Consumption in the 1970s. Durham: Duke University Press, 2007.
  • Zonana, Victor F. "One of the Fastest-Growing Chains in U.S.: Whole Earth Access Stores are Bargain Basement for Yuppies." Los Angeles Times, May 19, 1986: E1-2. [1]