- Tech & Gadgets
- BRW. lounge
Published 24 August 2012 05:53, Updated 24 August 2012 07:10
A few weeks ago I went to my local shopping centre to buy some coloured t-shirts from Esprit. I arrived at the third floor only to find the Esprit site had been turned into an Apple store.
Last week I was walking in town, past what was once a large French Connection store where I once bought a summer top, only to find it was being converted into a Samsung retail outlet.
Perhaps you’ve had the same experience as well, watching a clothing shop (or DVD rental store or music store) shut down only to see another kind of retail outlet (selling coffee, food or technology) pop up.
There couldn’t be a more material manifestation of the shift in consumer spending priorities, as expressed in the research we conduct. On the one hand, Australians consumers talk about the high price of goods and services in Australia. They love sharing the many ways that have found to get what they want for less – buying discount, second-hand, at super-sales, in bulk, online, offshore and through discount coupons offers. And some consumers are, of course, just making do with what they already have. Fashion seems to one area where consumers feel as if they are being overcharged by retailers and seem particularly interested in watching their dollars . When talking to women of all ages, they say they are now far more cautious when they reach for their wallet in the clothing stores. ‘The GFC meant the end of impulse buying’, said one young Adelaide woman to me. She hadn’t been shopping for fashion in chain stores for months but had shifted to buying online and treasure hunting for vintage clothes.
Yet at the same time as consumers counsel caution about spending and complain about the rising cost of living, such concerns almost evaporate when they talk about technology. We seem to comfortably shell out our cash for phones, tablets, laptops, TVs, GPS and any other device that makes our lives easier. Why? Because the cost of not having these devices seems far worse than the hundreds of dollars we pay for them.
Expect tech store coming to a former shoe shop near you very soon.