A values revolution is sweeping the consumer marketplace.
Who would have thought that in the past cigarettes would have been advertised as having an effect of immediate relief for Asthma, shortness of breath and Hay Fever to name a few.
Businesses need to absorb the significance of this trend. Those who do will prosper and those who don’t will perish. For undeniable proof take a look at the business model of Amazon.com. They continually do more for less and continue to prosper.
As they say in their shareholder letters, every day is day 1.
When consumerism becomes strategic, needs usurp wants. People are saying no to things they want and finding out later that they don’t really miss them at all.
I recently read a study from the US authored by Green Street Advisors that estimate that in the US, 10% of the country’s Malls will disappear in the next decade.
How many shopping centers became big soulless concrete boxes filled with junk and frequented only due to the enormous flow of available credit that achieved and added nothing but junk stuff and extra weight.
In the US self-storage facilities now number over 53,000 with 1.8 billion square feet of space just to accommodate the goods that Americans acquired during the time that they spent more than they earned. The numbers here are smaller but the result is much the same.
Between 1996 and 2006 clothes closet sizes grew over 25% annually, this was in the face of the median wage for men between the ages of 30 and 50 years of age in the period 1969 to 2009 falling by 27% when adjusted for inflation according to an analysis by MIT Professor Michael Greenstone.
Because more people in the household were working the income figures were skewed.
According to the Economic Policy Institute Wal-Mart was single handedly responsible for 11% of the growth in the US trade deficit with China between 2011 and 2006, as imports rose from 9 billion to 27 billion over that 6 year period.
Subsequently, over 40,000 American factories closed, displacing millions of blue-collar workers and their middle managers.
Ironically, the retailer that prided itself on helping the average American family save money and live better is the same company that contributed directly to the hardships currently being felt by the very class it served.
The “new” consumer will spend lavishly on the things that matter to them and aggressively save money on the things that don’t.
Cloud Computing facilities and Data centres will become the future of the shopping mall.