Wednesday, June 11, 2008

American consumer culture

I found some shopping carts abandoned in our area. It was strange that number of carts were increasing progressively in the locality. Why the same person who used it to cart the purchases to his house didn't take it back next time to the mall for the same purpose? It would have reduced the loss to the owner. Is it because taking it back empty will be admitting the guilt of its removal beyond the limits or is it considered unnecessary work simply? The surruptious movement should only be outward and not inward! In the backdrop of gas price rise walking to the mall to buy will increase and so all so the theft of carts!

While discussing this topic some body told me the city administration fines these business houses for the carts found on their streets as they have to do the clearing job. I said that this fine is a double punishment to these business concerns. Some one else said it is right as it is the duty of them to organise security in their area. I read News that they are now learning lessons

Another trade practice I really appreciate is the return policy practiced in US. Generally you can return the merchandise if you are not satisfied with the item after some trial. I know there are many unethical returns after use not for unsuitability - anything but. Here again I think competition is driving these policies.

The title of this blog is a familiar phrase "American consumer culture". Shopping cart is described as one symbol of "American consumer culture". There are many other symbols like sale papers you get along with daily news paper; coupons you get by mail; advertisements; sale gimmicks like "buy one get one free". At the center stage it is economic boom and desire to lead a good life. I got interested and googled that phrase on the web. I got good many results. Lo there are courses to teach you on the subject. It is business management!

We see advertisements to create wants and needs to promote consumption, multiplicity of products etc. I notice that more choice of products create more confusion about the suitability for the user. Once the limitless spending and materialism sets in deep debt problem for American consumers is surfacing.The above are scenes at the side wings of the Consumer culture of America.


Harit said...

Interesting to see the difference in Canada and USA in the link. :-)

Harit said...

Also, I wish there were some way of getting rid of those ads that come in mail.

Venki said...

Very good point about the carts and about the unwanted mailings. I have a similar issue to add. This is the "Safeway card" culture. Presumably one chain started this at some point to create customer loyalty. But now every store has it. So all I as a customer do is collect one card for every store, and still go wherever I want to for what I want. We have created this whole set up where they issue cards, include this in the database, have to price things in 2 ways for with and without cards, and I have to supply my info everywhere, collect all the cards and carry them around, when presumably if we get rid of the entire setup it will be easier for everybody .....