Sunday, January 8, 2012

Second Best

My father used to say that my mother used to be a very stylish lady and she was.  She used to wear beautiful sarees, beautiful jewelry, beautiful shoes, and always carried beautiful handbags. As our family grew bigger my parent's budget got rearranged several times. My mother would not buy new things, but we survived.

Dealing with vendors, discussing the slightest change in the shade of a piece of clothing, a zipper pull not being of the exact style or even the shape of the buttons not having the details it should, had turned me into one of those people. You know who I am talking about.Those people to whom style meant everything. I mean that was my job, checking and making sure that even baby clothes are perfect to the specifications of styles. Working for a better brand company I had to oblige by the rules. Now that I am working in customer service I am beginning to understand the very nature of our economy. I have understood that one of the culprits for our diminishing dollar is our health care cost. Little did I realize that it could be the struggle of keeping up with the joneses.

A lot of clothes are on sale now. Not just clothes, but shoes, jewelry, handbags and things you decorate your house with.

Today on Linkedin someone had asked a question about trends in retail. My answer was that customers have changed from endcap shoppers to need based shopper. This is true (except for my husband who picks up dog food, just because it was on the endcap, even though we don't have a dog any more.) This answer of mine was derived from the fact that some young people think that it is the duty of their parents to buy the best of everything for them. When all of the big brands were sold, a young lady told her mother (who was happy to pay two hundred dollars for an eight hundred dollar coat) that the second best will have to do. I think that my HR lady was right to put me in this job.

10 comments:

Shelly said...

You've made some very good observations about what's going on in business these days. I had to chuckle at your husband buying the dogfood even though no dog anymore. Old habits die hard-

yaya said...

I'm not much of a shopper, more of a necessity type of gal. I don't feel the need to keep up with anyone and I've never bought a piece of clothing that cost 800.00....that to me would be a waste. But everyone has their price and their wants..in my older age I just feel the need to pare down and declutter.

Ruth said...

That is funny about the dog food.
It's nice to have all the nice things in life, but I can't afford to live that way and I am not going to pretend to. I look at things on endcaps and than determine whether I really need it. If I don't, it goes back on the shelf.

Belle said...

For the most part I only buy what I need now. Luckily, I don't care about clothes anymore. :)

fishducky said...

A lot of a person's spending habits are ingrained in them since childhood. I am now in a position where I can afford to buy anything I want, but my upbringing won't let me. My parents raised 2 children on my dad's salary a a delivery truck driver for a wholesale meat company. We never wanted for anything, But my mom shopped for our clothing in the department store basements. That's still where I look first for my clothes.

Sarah Pearson said...

I'm so thankful that my kids aren't like the girl you mention. I wish I could have got them things 'just because' occasionally, but at least they know the value of money, and how to find a bargain :-)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I used to love shopping for clothes for myself, but over the last few years that has disappeared. Now I buy clothes for my teenager. With her I don't worry too much about cost, but for me I buy economy style.

Michael Offutt, Visitor from the Future said...

I think that kids these days are full of entitlement and feel that they are entitled to the very best of everything.

LynNerdKelley said...

You're exactly right about people becoming need-based shoppers. And the cost of health insurance is outrageous. Ours costs as much as a mortgage, and every year it goes up. It's really put us in a bind. I've never been a big name brand shopper. My kids didn't get the best, and even if I had plenty of money, I wouldn't have indulged them by buying things that I think are wasteful and a status symbol -- unless it was on sale -- reasonably priced. And I don't mean like the lady who paid that much for that coat. Sheesh! I'm glad you blogged about this, Munir! Tell your HR lady she done good!

Oh, and your husband is so funny buying that dog food! LOL!

Hope said...

very interesting topic Munir! I agree. sounds like this position is right for you for sure!

hope you and your family are well