Totally unrelated to the above. The collection of shopping mall evangelist Victor Gruen is held by the University of Wyoming's American Heritage Center, but it's a skimpy on-line experience. There are better Gruen resources here, including heroic images of his million-square foot consumer utopias. Information on shopping from an earlier age can be gleaned from this thesis on Parisian department store history - a far more sedate affair.
A little late, but here's a flash-based advent calendar (thanks tmn). Some alternatives: I, II.