The sayings used to be “shop till you drop”, “put it on plastic”, “take a bit of retail therapy”. Now its “save before you spend” and the hippie philosophy of “we don’t need all this consumer crap” is taking hold.
In America they are talking about the race to embrace main street values such as thrift, faith, community and hard work. “Stuff” has had its day and there is a growing trend to soul satisfying experiences, which might explain why companies like Flight Centre are booming and why Daily Deal type promotions concentrate on restaurants, holidays and other life experiences. It’s all about doing things rather than buying things.
Reserve Bank governor, Glenn Stevens, says shoppers will return. Not sure we can rely on a “wait and see” attitude, but perhaps, in the meantime, we can highlight all the romance and experience connections of our products (every product has them) and learn to entice our customers at every opportunity.