Author Topic: Really starting to see the Consumer Landscape Change  (Read 1862 times)

soccerluvof4

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Really starting to see the Consumer Landscape Change
« on: December 30, 2018, 04:34:00 AM »
I know everyone lives in different areas on MMM but you go 3 miles from where I live in pretty much any area and you can find pretty much anything from all the big box clothing/retail stores (Kohls, Target, Kmart, Sears, Tjmax et..) Every chain restaurant by x10 in some cases (Mc Donalds, Taco Bell, Burger King, Subway, Applebees, etc....) the grocery stores, Lowes, HD, Menards, et...

I am really starting to see the effect of the combination of online shopping, Amazon, and just to many damn places to split the 1$ out there and so on and was just having a conversation with my 2 youngest telling them what it was like when I was growing up. There was really only Mc Donalds or Burger King and they just built the first Taco Bell in our area. Malls were the thing with Sears , JC Penneys , Boston store as anchors and so on.

Back in the late 90's I believe 97 i sold a small chain of retail stores I owned that I got into a franchise early and the money I made after paying rent in a mall, % to the mall after a certain amount of sales, % to Franchiser the only real money I made was when I sold them. I made what I made too only because the Company that bought them out didn't want Franchisees and I knew that so being the President of the Franchise committee I made a call and long and short sold them in 20 minutes. So every once in awhile I go and look to see how that has evolved and what I use to pay for a full build out with inventory was 150k most now are at least 400k plus.

So to sum up I have always said there are only so many $'s to go around for certain things and where /when is this going to end. If you have a family like me to go out and eat anywhere once, I can feed my family usually 2 if not 3 days (family of 6) by buying smart at Aldis etc.. and making our own meals.But we do have an entertainment Budget to do things.  The big Box Clothe retailers are going down fast. Sears/Kmart just filed for Bankruptcy protection no surprise there. 2 losers that came together a deal I never understood. JC Pennys is a penny stock now. You can literally drive past one fast food place or another and everyone has a sign in front of them hiring. There is a big Gas Station Convenience chain by us that is killing all the smaller gas stations and you can start there for $12.65 an hour or $14.65 and hour if you work third shift with 100's of jobs available in our area. So its going to be curious how this all plays out. Pretty sure I heard that someone bought Toys R Us which has been in trouble for as long as I can remember and opening up a limited amount. The malls by us are all suffering.  So what is the landscape going to look like. It seems despite all the places going out of business overall more new stuff is being built then knocked down. I definitely think a lot more of all these chain restaurants and box store things will go out , some like Target and Walmart will be fine as they reinvent themselves and fight for there share on the internet. Some will become just stores to look at things to order online and there will be some that I am sure that will survive for the consumer that likes to touch and feel BUT in my area its very apparent things are changing. Whats it look like where you live if in an area with pretty much everything and how do you think things are going to look 20 years from now? Nursing homes are booming. All the ones by us have double in size and more and more are popping up. Seems like since the last crash more churches and temples, Bank branches have been built than ever. I could go on and on but just thought be good topic of conversation since the landscape effects most everyone. As I get up in my years I see alot of good and actually feel for some of the smaller guys out there. Will the government at some point put in a stop some how on a company like Amazon? Walmart basically was the monster years back and wiped out small town Americas small retails stores.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2018, 04:45:00 AM by soccerluvof4 »

Noodle

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Re: Really starting to see the Consumer Landscape Change
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2018, 12:24:16 PM »
Several years ago, I read an article about the hollowing out of the middle, brand-wise. The author talked about the fact that bargain brands like Aldi and Trader Joe's were doing well, as were high-end brands like Whole Foods (using groceries for an example) but the middle was losing ground--at one time there was prestige to buying brands like Kraft and Rice Krispies that is no longer true for a lot of people. I think what we are seeing is the erosion of retail that is just about acquiring a thing...if all you need is a thing, you can get it fairly efficiently online. The middle brands that are doing well bring something else to the table...for instance, I live in Texas and the HEB grocery store chain is not losing any ground. They have combined a really well run grocery store (the stores are clean and well-stocked, there are always enough cashiers at busy times, apparently they are good employers, etc) with their own line of products--some only they carry, but they also clearly watch their competitors closely, because anything Trader Joe's does they will have the next season, like the peppermint-chocolate sandwich cookies at Christmas--plus they have carved out a special niche for themselves in weather-related disaster relief. Not only do they do straight-up charity with mobile kitchens and food/water donations, they also have a whole system for reopening stores in affected areas as fast as possible, with streamlined stocking and busing in employees from other locations to replace the ones who can't get to work. I have no idea how much they spend but I can guarantee the good publicity they get out of it every time is worth the money. I think that will keep going.

I think the big thing that will change the landscape in ways we can't imagine yet is self-driving cars. When people don't have to stress out about driving and parking, I wonder if they will be more willing to go out for things. There are a lot of places I would go if I didn't have to drive myself there... I also think that the landscape will change a lot when businesses don't have to provide acres of parking for every store--when the car can drop off the passenger and then go somewhere else to hang out until he or she is ready.

Imma

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Re: Really starting to see the Consumer Landscape Change
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2018, 02:16:05 AM »
It's funny, in western Europe the trends are very different. Yes, Aldi and other discount stores are growing, but they are growing by copying the more expensive stores. They are not getting cheaper, they are getting fancier for roughly the same price.

Malls aren't really a big thing in here, but in city centers, retail space is converted tot restaurant space. Every town has dozens of small hipster coffee shops and independent restaurants now.

Churches and banks are becoming very rare. No one goes to church anymore and all banking is done online. My home town of 35000 people used to have 6 banks, 4 big catholic churches and two protestant churches. Now there are 0 banks, 1 catholic and 1 protestant church left over. Our country is full of old monumental churches that serve absolutely no purpose.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Really starting to see the Consumer Landscape Change
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2018, 04:50:11 AM »
It's funny, in western Europe the trends are very different. Yes, Aldi and other discount stores are growing, but they are growing by copying the more expensive stores. They are not getting cheaper, they are getting fancier for roughly the same price.

Malls aren't really a big thing in here, but in city centers, retail space is converted tot restaurant space. Every town has dozens of small hipster coffee shops and independent restaurants now.

Churches and banks are becoming very rare. No one goes to church anymore and all banking is done online. My home town of 35000 people used to have 6 banks, 4 big catholic churches and two protestant churches. Now there are 0 banks, 1 catholic and 1 protestant church left over. Our country is full of old monumental churches that serve absolutely no purpose.
Several years ago, I read an article about the hollowing out of the middle, brand-wise. The author talked about the fact that bargain brands like Aldi and Trader Joe's were doing well, as were high-end brands like Whole Foods (using groceries for an example) but the middle was losing ground--at one time there was prestige to buying brands like Kraft and Rice Krispies that is no longer true for a lot of people. I think what we are seeing is the erosion of retail that is just about acquiring a thing...if all you need is a thing, you can get it fairly efficiently online. The middle brands that are doing well bring something else to the table...for instance, I live in Texas and the HEB grocery store chain is not losing any ground. They have combined a really well run grocery store (the stores are clean and well-stocked, there are always enough cashiers at busy times, apparently they are good employers, etc) with their own line of products--some only they carry, but they also clearly watch their competitors closely, because anything Trader Joe's does they will have the next season, like the peppermint-chocolate sandwich cookies at Christmas--plus they have carved out a special niche for themselves in weather-related disaster relief. Not only do they do straight-up charity with mobile kitchens and food/water donations, they also have a whole system for reopening stores in affected areas as fast as possible, with streamlined stocking and busing in employees from other locations to replace the ones who can't get to work. I have no idea how much they spend but I can guarantee the good publicity they get out of it every time is worth the money. I think that will keep going.

I think the big thing that will change the landscape in ways we can't imagine yet is self-driving cars. When people don't have to stress out about driving and parking, I wonder if they will be more willing to go out for things. There are a lot of places I would go if I didn't have to drive myself there... I also think that the landscape will change a lot when businesses don't have to provide acres of parking for every store--when the car can drop off the passenger and then go somewhere else to hang out until he or she is ready.




I never thought about the parking lot idea , that brings up a good point. Now that I brought up this thinking the last two days I have noticed even more. The hospitals seem to be building little satellites all over the place as well as when i mentioned the bank branches and Churches and Temples.

You also nailed it on the Grocery Stores I see that as well. Recently some of the bigger players like Meiers and few others have moved in to buy up our bigger chains we had here or put them out of business but there are other smaller ones as you said that have found a niche and are doing very well.

Aldis here I have notice to maybe not the same degree in the last couple of years there prices are going up and are adding bakeries to them and or adding square footage so it will be interesting to see if the follow here what they are doing over in Europe.

Not sure if I am foolish or if i just see the Driverless cars being more of a smaller impact. I see them having there place in certain areas but not so much going down major interstates in and through major cities. Idk.. that will be an interesting thing to see but doubt in my lifetime it will be that noticeable.

It just seems everywhere you go so much stuff is being built but yet the population doesnt seem to be growing to support that and all the business that are going out someone seems to come in and scoop up the buildings. I watch alot of BBC and its amazing how old and historical things are whereas in the USA its seems to be more about rebuilding/remodeling and build build build. Not that thats a bad thing but to my point You look at these Chick fa la ? buildings, They cant be cheap to build and they sell chicken sandwiches. There killing it but with labor costs going up etc... going to cost you 15$ for a Sandwich  fries and a drink before much longer.

partgypsy

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Re: Really starting to see the Consumer Landscape Change
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2018, 08:05:00 AM »
In my town, the population is growing. Yet, other than a relatively new flagship mall (with new concept of walkable some outside shops) the malls are suffering. The one near me just got foreclosed on, and I am bummed. It had a sears, some other shoe and clothes shops. It was nice to be able to go over there and get things especially for the kids.

So, the trend in my town is lots of big box stores, closing of malls. Malls are going to be replaced with mixed use residential and retail space. So far non-chain restaurants are still doing well in my town, but yeah there are fast food places that are busy too along the busy intersections.

I know for my shopping it is a bit schizophrenic. I don't shop a whole lot, and while I go to a more expensive grocery store I also alternate with food lion, and do a pretty decent job with the budget, considering I don't go to restaurants a whole lot. I don't shop recreationally for clothes and have never spent a lot on my clothes. However I need to replace a coat and a pair of boots, and honestly I can't do the payless level, walmart level shoes and coats.  I should have either driven to the fancy mall or to the outlet that is out of town, but gambled and bought a couple things online yesterday. If they don't work out will need to venture to one of those places to get the nicer clothing items. 
So the vast majority of the stuff I buy (other than some food items) I am pretty budget. But there are some things like shoes and technical jackets, I need or want a higher level of quality.

I am up in the air about furniture. The vast majority of stuff I had (other than mattress), spent very little (hand me downs or thrift stores, some Ikea). But I want to get a dining set, that is solid - but not dated (overly formal, dark varnished wood). I will keep looking, and would be awesome to find a gem. But if I can't find, I may buy new to get the dimensions I want. I was very tempted by some things on internet, but so far have refrained. I mean look at this! Talk me out of it! https://www.wayfair.com/furniture/pdp/corrigan-studio-taurean-5-piece-dining-set-cstd5884.html
« Last Edit: December 31, 2018, 08:16:26 AM by partgypsy »

soccerluvof4

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Re: Really starting to see the Consumer Landscape Change
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2018, 11:01:32 AM »
In my town, the population is growing. Yet, other than a relatively new flagship mall (with new concept of walkable some outside shops) the malls are suffering. The one near me just got foreclosed on, and I am bummed. It had a sears, some other shoe and clothes shops. It was nice to be able to go over there and get things especially for the kids.

So, the trend in my town is lots of big box stores, closing of malls. Malls are going to be replaced with mixed use residential and retail space. So far non-chain restaurants are still doing well in my town, but yeah there are fast food places that are busy too along the busy intersections.

I know for my shopping it is a bit schizophrenic. I don't shop a whole lot, and while I go to a more expensive grocery store I also alternate with food lion, and do a pretty decent job with the budget, considering I don't go to restaurants a whole lot. I don't shop recreationally for clothes and have never spent a lot on my clothes. However I need to replace a coat and a pair of boots, and honestly I can't do the payless level, walmart level shoes and coats.  I should have either driven to the fancy mall or to the outlet that is out of town, but gambled and bought a couple things online yesterday. If they don't work out will need to venture to one of those places to get the nicer clothing items. 
So the vast majority of the stuff I buy (other than some food items) I am pretty budget. But there are some things like shoes and technical jackets, I need or want a higher level of quality.

I am up in the air about furniture. The vast majority of stuff I had (other than mattress), spent very little (hand me downs or thrift stores, some Ikea). But I want to get a dining set, that is solid - but not dated (overly formal, dark varnished wood). I will keep looking, and would be awesome to find a gem. But if I can't find, I may buy new to get the dimensions I want. I was very tempted by some things on internet, but so far have refrained. I mean look at this! Talk me out of it! https://www.wayfair.com/furniture/pdp/corrigan-studio-taurean-5-piece-dining-set-cstd5884.html



It looks like a nice set , sorry I cant talk you out of it! haha. I didnt see any assembly required? which I would imagine it would need some.  Thats another trend now that were on it the way to cut costs for stores etc.. is more and more furniture people need to assemble. As of now its saves some money but when its status quo sure that will change. For years there wasnt an Ikea within 100 Miles of us and now there are two.   Sometimes with the food too its the cost of travel vs the savings. Our closest grocer is a mile away and Aldis about 20 minutes away. If things are not that much different than I will grab from our local grocer a Piggly Wiggly. Plus there meats are always better anyhow so I pay more for that.

partgypsy

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Re: Really starting to see the Consumer Landscape Change
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2018, 11:37:55 AM »
In my town, the population is growing. Yet, other than a relatively new flagship mall (with new concept of walkable some outside shops) the malls are suffering. The one near me just got foreclosed on, and I am bummed. It had a sears, some other shoe and clothes shops. It was nice to be able to go over there and get things especially for the kids.

So, the trend in my town is lots of big box stores, closing of malls. Malls are going to be replaced with mixed use residential and retail space. So far non-chain restaurants are still doing well in my town, but yeah there are fast food places that are busy too along the busy intersections.

I know for my shopping it is a bit schizophrenic. I don't shop a whole lot, and while I go to a more expensive grocery store I also alternate with food lion, and do a pretty decent job with the budget, considering I don't go to restaurants a whole lot. I don't shop recreationally for clothes and have never spent a lot on my clothes. However I need to replace a coat and a pair of boots, and honestly I can't do the payless level, walmart level shoes and coats.  I should have either driven to the fancy mall or to the outlet that is out of town, but gambled and bought a couple things online yesterday. If they don't work out will need to venture to one of those places to get the nicer clothing items. 
So the vast majority of the stuff I buy (other than some food items) I am pretty budget. But there are some things like shoes and technical jackets, I need or want a higher level of quality.

I am up in the air about furniture. The vast majority of stuff I had (other than mattress), spent very little (hand me downs or thrift stores, some Ikea). But I want to get a dining set, that is solid - but not dated (overly formal, dark varnished wood). I will keep looking, and would be awesome to find a gem. But if I can't find, I may buy new to get the dimensions I want. I was very tempted by some things on internet, but so far have refrained. I mean look at this! Talk me out of it! https://www.wayfair.com/furniture/pdp/corrigan-studio-taurean-5-piece-dining-set-cstd5884.html



It looks like a nice set , sorry I cant talk you out of it! haha. I didnt see any assembly required? which I would imagine it would need some.  Thats another trend now that were on it the way to cut costs for stores etc.. is more and more furniture people need to assemble. As of now its saves some money but when its status quo sure that will change. For years there wasnt an Ikea within 100 Miles of us and now there are two.   Sometimes with the food too its the cost of travel vs the savings. Our closest grocer is a mile away and Aldis about 20 minutes away. If things are not that much different than I will grab from our local grocer a Piggly Wiggly. Plus there meats are always better anyhow so I pay more for that.

There is some assembly required, but doesn't look too bad. Arrgh, very bad, bought that along with a new coat and new boots. This is the most spending I've done all year (other than kitchen remodel). I intend on putting it in current study after the space is re-organized, but for now will go into new kitchen. A little nervous. I really hope it's not a piece of junk. Will polyurethane the table top if I keep it to help protect surface.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2018, 11:40:56 AM by partgypsy »

Imma

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Re: Really starting to see the Consumer Landscape Change
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2019, 11:50:09 AM »

It just seems everywhere you go so much stuff is being built but yet the population doesnt seem to be growing to support that and all the business that are going out someone seems to come in and scoop up the buildings. I watch alot of BBC and its amazing how old and historical things are whereas in the USA its seems to be more about rebuilding/remodeling and build build build. Not that thats a bad thing but to my point You look at these Chick fa la ? buildings, They cant be cheap to build and they sell chicken sandwiches. There killing it but with labor costs going up etc... going to cost you 15$ for a Sandwich  fries and a drink before much longer.

We always think it's funny when American tourists refer to buildings as 'historical' when they're just old but don't have a specific historical value (to us at least). Your country is just so much younger. I've never been there and I can't imagine what it's like. I live in a city that's not considered to be historical, but many buildings are old. Due to the risk of fire, many European cities have had regulations about building homes at least partially from brick for hundreds of years. Obviously that helps with conservation. I get the impression that in the US, many buildings are made from inferior materials, which means they will likely be demolished sooner. Due to the available space, I can also imagine it's easier to just expand rather than repurpose existing buildings.

Our current house is from the 1940s and not considered old - in fact, many people hate post-war architecture and would like to see it all torn down. 1930s homes are really popular now. Those are the first homes that were built to a "modern" standard (cavity walls, indoor plumbing and electricity etc) and the neighbhourhoods built back then that weren't destroyed in WWII are still attractive places to live. Those homes were really built to last.

partgypsy

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Re: Really starting to see the Consumer Landscape Change
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2019, 01:35:58 PM »

It just seems everywhere you go so much stuff is being built but yet the population doesnt seem to be growing to support that and all the business that are going out someone seems to come in and scoop up the buildings. I watch alot of BBC and its amazing how old and historical things are whereas in the USA its seems to be more about rebuilding/remodeling and build build build. Not that thats a bad thing but to my point You look at these Chick fa la ? buildings, They cant be cheap to build and they sell chicken sandwiches. There killing it but with labor costs going up etc... going to cost you 15$ for a Sandwich  fries and a drink before much longer.

We always think it's funny when American tourists refer to buildings as 'historical' when they're just old but don't have a specific historical value (to us at least). Your country is just so much younger. I've never been there and I can't imagine what it's like. I live in a city that's not considered to be historical, but many buildings are old. Due to the risk of fire, many European cities have had regulations about building homes at least partially from brick for hundreds of years. Obviously that helps with conservation. I get the impression that in the US, many buildings are made from inferior materials, which means they will likely be demolished sooner. Due to the available space, I can also imagine it's easier to just expand rather than repurpose existing buildings.

Our current house is from the 1940s and not considered old - in fact, many people hate post-war architecture and would like to see it all torn down. 1930s homes are really popular now. Those are the first homes that were built to a "modern" standard (cavity walls, indoor plumbing and electricity etc) and the neighbhourhoods built back then that weren't destroyed in WWII are still attractive places to live. Those homes were really built to last.

I agree that a lot of building in the US is more emphasis on fast than durable meant to last. Both residential and commercial. I also note that it seems like the midwest built things a little more solidly (like brownstones of brick and stone) than many buildings here in the south. Not sure why the difference, other than for insulation against the winters or tornados?

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Re: Really starting to see the Consumer Landscape Change
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2019, 12:57:14 PM »
Around Christmas I saw a sign in the mall parking lot that said "Thanks for shopping local".

The mall is now seen as shopping local, simply because its not online and at least some of the $$ stays in the community. Used to be that shopping local was shopping at a locally owned shop. Hard to believe that's what we've come to.

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Re: Really starting to see the Consumer Landscape Change
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2019, 09:23:05 PM »
I was born in 1954 and we never ate out. When I was 12 my mom went back to work and insisted we all went for a fish fry at a local bar on Friday night. What a treat that was.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Really starting to see the Consumer Landscape Change
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2019, 01:42:33 AM »
It's funny, in western Europe the trends are very different. Yes, Aldi and other discount stores are growing, but they are growing by copying the more expensive stores. They are not getting cheaper, they are getting fancier for roughly the same price.

Malls aren't really a big thing in here, but in city centers, retail space is converted tot restaurant space. Every town has dozens of small hipster coffee shops and independent restaurants now.

Churches and banks are becoming very rare. No one goes to church anymore and all banking is done online. My home town of 35000 people used to have 6 banks, 4 big catholic churches and two protestant churches. Now there are 0 banks, 1 catholic and 1 protestant church left over. Our country is full of old monumental churches that serve absolutely no purpose.

I live in Western Europe too but in my country things are completely different.  There are tons of banks and churches.  There are lots of malls outside town that are doing well.  The cheapo grocery stores are staying cheap (a local Italian chain called Tuo Di where I do a lot of our shopping - as well as Lidl, Eurospin etc etc).  Please don't make claims about "Western Europe" when you actually mean the Netherlands.  Western Europe varies a ton.

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Re: Really starting to see the Consumer Landscape Change
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2019, 07:56:02 AM »
It's funny, in western Europe the trends are very different. Yes, Aldi and other discount stores are growing, but they are growing by copying the more expensive stores. They are not getting cheaper, they are getting fancier for roughly the same price.

Malls aren't really a big thing in here, but in city centers, retail space is converted tot restaurant space. Every town has dozens of small hipster coffee shops and independent restaurants now.

Churches and banks are becoming very rare. No one goes to church anymore and all banking is done online. My home town of 35000 people used to have 6 banks, 4 big catholic churches and two protestant churches. Now there are 0 banks, 1 catholic and 1 protestant church left over. Our country is full of old monumental churches that serve absolutely no purpose.

I live in Western Europe too but in my country things are completely different.  There are tons of banks and churches.  There are lots of malls outside town that are doing well.  The cheapo grocery stores are staying cheap (a local Italian chain called Tuo Di where I do a lot of our shopping - as well as Lidl, Eurospin etc etc).  Please don't make claims about "Western Europe" when you actually mean the Netherlands.  Western Europe varies a ton.

+1. England's cities have tons of banks, churches, restaurants, bars, supermarkets, shops, most of them are chains on high street. I hate going there now, versus 2002, just another country infected and colonized by the American business mindset.

Perhaps @Imma lives in a rural-ish/small town area.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Really starting to see the Consumer Landscape Change
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2019, 02:32:01 AM »
Perhaps @Imma lives in a rural-ish/small town area.

Possibly a wealthy or touristy small town since she talks about all the bars and restaurants opening in former retail space and the cheap supermarkets like Lidl and Aldi doing well by selling more expensive stuff.  Here in Italy, the economy isn't going so well. A lot of people we know are unemployed or marginally employed. People still go out for the occasional pizza (which costs around Euro 5 for a one person pie) and coffee (which usually costs 80 cents in the bar) but those are small indulgences here as they are so cheap. I definitely don't notice former retail space becoming restaurants and bars.  Online shopping still isn't that common here because people don't trust it.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Really starting to see the Consumer Landscape Change
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2019, 03:29:07 AM »
Perhaps @Imma lives in a rural-ish/small town area.

Possibly a wealthy or touristy small town since she talks about all the bars and restaurants opening in former retail space and the cheap supermarkets like Lidl and Aldi doing well by selling more expensive stuff.  Here in Italy, the economy isn't going so well. A lot of people we know are unemployed or marginally employed. People still go out for the occasional pizza (which costs around Euro 5 for a one person pie) and coffee (which usually costs 80 cents in the bar) but those are small indulgences here as they are so cheap. I definitely don't notice former retail space becoming restaurants and bars.  Online shopping still isn't that common here because people don't trust it.



Can I ask if you were born in Italy or moved there? My DS met someone from Italy at a Trade Show and Moved to the western Side of the central side of the country near the Ocean and Lived there about 8 years (Fortunately were Italian and she could speak the language) then moved back to the states because of the very reasons you spoke of. Her Husbands business really was struggling so he came here to go into the same business for someone else.  It took them at least 3 years I'd say to sell there home as well.

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Re: Really starting to see the Consumer Landscape Change
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2019, 06:13:02 AM »
I was born in the US.  I'm an immigrant here in Italy.

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Re: Really starting to see the Consumer Landscape Change
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2019, 09:39:26 AM »
It's funny, in western Europe the trends are very different. Yes, Aldi and other discount stores are growing, but they are growing by copying the more expensive stores. They are not getting cheaper, they are getting fancier for roughly the same price.

Malls aren't really a big thing in here, but in city centers, retail space is converted to restaurant space. Every town has dozens of small hipster coffee shops and independent restaurants now.

Churches and banks are becoming very rare. No one goes to church anymore and all banking is done online. My home town of 35000 people used to have 6 banks, 4 big catholic churches and two protestant churches. Now there are 0 banks, 1 catholic and 1 protestant church left over. Our country is full of old monumental churches that serve absolutely no purpose.

I live in Western Europe too but in my country things are completely different.  There are tons of banks and churches.  There are lots of malls outside town that are doing well.  The cheapo grocery stores are staying cheap (a local Italian chain called Tuo Di where I do a lot of our shopping - as well as Lidl, Eurospin etc etc).  Please don't make claims about "Western Europe" when you actually mean the Netherlands.  Western Europe varies a ton.

+1. England's cities have tons of banks, churches, restaurants, bars, supermarkets, shops, most of them are chains on high street. I hate going there now, versus 2002, just another country infected and colonized by the American business mindset.

Perhaps @Imma lives in a rural-ish/small town area.

I didn't mean just my own country, I meant what I said: western Europe. Which is normally understood to mean: the countries bordering on the North Sea. Some people add Germany to that definition or leave out a part of France. I definitely didn't say anything about Italy, which is not located in western Europe. I have absolutely no opinion about the situation in Italy.

As a whole, western Europe is fairly urbanized, there are few truly remote areas of countryside left. I live in a residential area in a university town myself. A place comparable to Hull or Wolverhampton. Pretty urban, but not exactly a big city. I grew up in a village and I don't go back there often, but it seems to have become a pretty desolate place.

I don't recognize your desciption of the average English high street. I visit the country semi-regularly but I've never lived there, so maybe my impression is wrong, but I certainly don't see flourishing high streets there either. A lot of retail space has disappeared to make way for Costa's and Gregg's and burger restaurants and hipster coffee shops and fried chicken places and also betting shops. In smaller towns empty shops are boarded up. On high streets you won't find many independent stores or department stores anymore. People either order those things online (I believe that's huge in the UK as well) or they buy them in massive supermarkets in prefab buildings that are not actually on the high street but on the edge of towns. I see many old churches in the UK, just like in the NL or Belgium, but they seem to be predominantly empty as well.

If I'm wrong, I really hope so, please direct me to the places I should visit. I am taking a cross country road trip through the UK in a couple of months, from the north-west to the south-east. I'd love to visit flourishing towns.

In most countries in western Europe, the economy is doing pretty well. While wages remain relatively stagnant and every country has their own issues, unemployment is fairly low (the Netherlands and the UK both around 4%, Luxembourg and Belgium slightly higher. Germany a bit lower if you count them in) so people have some money to spend. But I think what we're seeing is actually a bigger thing, it's a shift in lifestyle. Eating out and especially eating on the go are really big things that are here to stay. I'm sure those behaviour patterns will stay even when we hit recession again. It's not like Americans suddenly stopped consuming fast food in 2009.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Really starting to see the Consumer Landscape Change
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2019, 05:32:38 AM »
I didn't mean just my own country, I meant what I said: western Europe. Which is normally understood to mean: the countries bordering on the North Sea. Some people add Germany to that definition or leave out a part of France. I definitely didn't say anything about Italy, which is not located in western Europe. I have absolutely no opinion about the situation in Italy.

I've never heard of that definitely of Western Europe.  In the parts of Europe where I've lived, Western Europe is understood to mean, roughly the entire Western part of Europe and especially the founding members of the European Union ie. Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Belgium and Luxembourg.  People would normally include non founding members of the EU that are located in the Western part of Europe such as the Scandinavian countries, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Portugal, the UK and Ireland.

I think what you're describing is Northern Europe ie. countries bordering on the North Sea.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 05:34:50 AM by Hula Hoop »