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In this article the processes of selling to customers in multi-national fashion stores in Paris and Dublin are compared. It is argued that the cross-national differences identified are related to differences in both national institutional structures and the organization of urban form. Intermediary societal effects theory is expanded on to explain the cross-national differences in selling patterns. Societal effects theorists argue that cross-national differences in institutional structures (such as education, training and industrial relations systems) affect the organization of production in countries. These arguments are expanded in relation to cross-national differences in retail systems and a wider range of cultural factors which can affect consumption processes. The combination of these three approaches is applied to provide a theoretical understanding of how processes of selling differ between Paris and Dublin.