Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Retailers drop prices to win sales

I suppose you could call this the invisible hand of the free market at work. Consumers stopped spending on high priced goods, so the retailers are finding ways to offer cheaper versions of their former luxury lines of merchandise. In some cases they're using cheaper materials and cutting some of the frills but Starbucks dropping their coffee price made me wonder why they charged more for it in the first place. They're making up the 30 cent difference by charging more for the more complicated drinks, but shouldn't that have been the standard all along under a fair pricing scheme?

The retailers are, of course, hoping that people will go back to their spendthrift ways in the future, but I wonder if the upside of this recession won't be that consumers finally realize paying a premium for the status of a brand name just isn't worth it.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

"paying a premium for the status of a brand name just isn't worth it. "

I wonder too. My parents were of the Depression generation and those folks seem to have developed a special semiotics of their own where words like mink, Cadillac, Champagne, steak and the like were ends in themselves even after they became common and cheap.

But maybe we are better puppets and consumers, much more easily directed by the corporate Barons who tell us what we need, what makes us "cool" and hip -- right down to our accents and cliche's. I'm guessing we'll never even notice the puppet strings much less break them.

One think I'm hoping for however is that a prolonged recession (and I think it will be) will weaken the need to dress like homeless refugees. Is it "cool" to look like a hobo when there are millions of real ones looking for work?

9:50:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Fashion has certainly changed over the years. And I think it does respond to economic downturns. Classic styles will come back I think.

11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I'm hoping it's not just fashion in clothing. I've always wanted a Duesenberg.

8:25:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

LOL. I could see you in one of those.

2:52:00 PM  

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