Recently it seems that retailers across the board are struggling to find a secure balance between Price and quality- while one may heading up it seems the other dominator is slowly dipping. This has been a rife discussion among friends whom have also noticed this down turn in standards from food chains reducing the size of portions (and in some cases quality of products used) yet upping there prices noticeably. The previously low end (low cost) high street retailers that are not necessarily renown for great quality garments but the prices were attractive have also seemed to be taking a different stance with a significant price hike on their current lines. An ex-employee of Agent Provocateur commented recently that she began to notice this downward spiral with the quality declining yet the prices being marked up.
Some how to me this seems to a slight predicament on their part surely quality control going out the window will only see the customers do the same and retailers are pretty much shooting themselves in the foot in the long term. Personally I have cut down on expenditure over the past year although this is debatable whether this has more to do with my change of circumstances (becoming a student) rather than feeling the effects of the credit crunch. Either way it has been a while since I last indulged on a high street shopping spree yet the other day I decided my wardrobe needed an injection of some new A/W looks. During this trip I was questioning myself just how long I had been avoiding the shops not to notice this current trend sweeping across the stores. Heading to till points I was underestimating every purchase total, taking a deep gulp every-time I was confronted by the refreshed digital display, I even exclaimed to one sales assistant that the prices have increased which I received a slight giggle to shrug it off.
Have the scales tipped- Is it hard to strike the correct balance given the economic climate?
This got me thinking surely these retailers, struggling as they may be, they need and want to encourage us to spend and increase our frequency through their doors however I cannot see this happening if after a few weeks the top we just brought is then fraying at the seams and discolouring in the wash. Encouraging they are not.... deterring they are.
While on this shopping trip not only was I scrummaging for the price tag before considering any item, my main reason for this detour into the town centre was that i was taking back such example or shoes that had not last more than 10 wears!!! Well these shoes in question where small plaited grey pumps that in the first instance were more than i would spend usually on a pair of pumps but as i liked them I decided to pay the extra expecting the ideology that you pay for what you get therefore the more spent should equal a better long lasting product should it not? Well how wrong could I be, A friend had pointed out the first time I outed my new shoes that although they are nice she had got the same pair and that all the front toe piece was now gapping. Disregarding this comment as that she may have over worn hers when I donned them for the second time it was raining and water was just pouring through the soles, i might as well have gone bare feet!!! Well this resulted in the shoes from then on deteriorating more, the lining came out the sides were wearing and the front began to gape. So annoyed at the rate of deterioration in relation to the amount of wear i actually passionately approached a stranger who I noticed trying on the said shoes and recommended she should reconsider them explaining what had happened to my pair, she was grateful of my advice, if only i had someone do the same when i brought mine!
Well back to the shoes in question and my recent shopping trip, the end state of the pumps made it more than embarrassing to show the shop assistant as they had looked like a dog had been at them. Concerned that they may not believe that these had been worn only on about a maximum of 10 occasions to end up in such a mess I began to explain that i was disappointed at the quality of these shoes I was then unsurprisingly passed over to explain to the manager. Strangely she asked how they come to be like this and when was I last wearing them, which I replied I was at work when my feet actually then popped out the sides (a colleague remarked that they were like the footwear you would associate with a stereotypical tramp) . The Manager could not get her head round it- nor could I to be fair and I recalled all the past situations of wear including the waterproof incident, where I for some reason assumed shoes should at least be waterproof-especially in this country! well apparently they are not an everyday shoe she told me! Everyday couldn't of worn them everyday even if i tried and since when was it acceptable for shoes to only be classed as occasional wear for the fact that the quality of them is so poor. I apologise and i am slightly aware that this has lead into a personal rant but it just confirms my main point that quality is diminishing and during this recession we can not expect that we are getting what we pay for! At this rate the light at the end of this recession tunnel seems to be fading into the distance as we continue to just circulate.