A nation of scrimpers?
There was an interesting piece on the front of The Irish Times yesterday from Paul Cullen about a study which found that Irish consumers would never recover from the guilt they felt about their consumption during the boom years.
The retail director of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), told a retailing conference that our sudden embracing of cheaper shops and a increased focus on special offers and the purchase of more own-label goods, were here to stay.
But is that really the case? Have we really become a nation of long-term frugal enthusiasts or would we revert to our conspicuous consuming ways given half a chance?
And, more importantly, do you feel guilty about your spending habits during the boom years?
A study published earlier this month by the National Consumer Agency suggests that our habit of shopping around might not be as enduring as the man from PWC has suggested. It found that the number of consumers shopping around for better value has fallen from 75 per cent to 67 per cent over the last 12 months while the number listing convenience as a determining factor in where they shop increased from 13 per cent to 17 per cent.
Ann Fitzgerald, the NCA’s chief executive said the finding that fewer people were shopping around was “worrying” and said that if that trend continued “and we fall back into old habits, becoming complacent in our shopping behaviour, we can expect retailers to take advantage resulting in less competition and higher prices.”