Low cost

Markets used to consist of a broad range of offers ranging from the cheap and nasty at the one end through ‘everyday’ to luxury. Mass markets generally sat somewhere in the middle. Not any more. As people have become richer markets have started to polarize between the top and bottom segments. In other words the middle market has all but disappeared, with people either trading up to premium products or happily accepting low cost (value driven) products that have become increasingly well made. In other words, metaphorically speaking, everyone is either flying with a low-cost airline or upgrading to business class. Actually that is highly misleading because in many cases people buy into both segments depending on what mood they are in or who’s paying. Hence people will buy $20 T-shirts one minute and $500 jeans the next. However the strangest thing is perhaps the fact that next to nobody is complaining about the ultimate price we all pay for the availability of low cost goods.  Shoes at £5 a pair have to come from somewhere and one wonders what the factory conditions and the environmental damage behind such products really are. Or perhaps we don’t — it just looks like a bargain and ethical concerns take a back seat to convenience.

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