As the shows roll on in Paris…the chatter seems to be all about the retail shopping experience, the recession barren consumer and the price war.
All we have to do is take a look around and it is fairly simple to understand why shopping has lost it’s luster. Big global brands are spreading out their wings tampering in a little bit of too much but nothing at all, the high street is now monotonous, no one wants to be wearing the same and the small and unique are being swept away. It will be a battle to re-invigorate shopper, who will win? Those that offer a fresh, new shopping experience along with quality and service. Items that are made with a story, with love and presence will conquer. A great example this is a new philanthropic store in Paris called Merci. The owner Marie France will choose and sell only items she likes and all profits will go a charity.
With times of recession comes times of change and therefore most businesses will have to look out for the changes in the behavior of their consumer. The smartest and surviving companies will be the ones that read their consumer and quick to adapt. Every thing in life seems to move in cycles and so does the consumer, we have become a rather over consuming world, buying more then we could ever use and need. Thus the new shopper does not want more “stuff” but rather an experience they can remember and share with their family and friends.
A lot to be said for the price war that begun at the end of last year with all the U.S stores putting goods on sale starting in November, this created a difficult situation for designer stores, as Suzy Menkes said “ The problem is not really about the price on the ticket but an attitude of the mind”. Many consumers say it will now be hard for them to pay the full price ticket on a designer garment when they know by waiting they can get it at least half off. Often people forget they too have a business to run.
To me…. it seems a difference between price and value. The price of a garment could be quite low but the value quite high. Often we make decisions whilst only considering the price and later realize the value is what is truly important. A relationship whether it be with a garment, a person or anything else that matters to us should always be considered from the perspective of what value it provides us before we decide on whether to pay the price. The price will become irrelevant; the value will always be what matters.
As Galliano said “It is a credit crunch not a creative crunch”……..so leave us to create!!