Friday, June 24, 2011

Habitat and the decline of society

The sale and chop-up of Habitat is fascinating, for two reasons:

  1. For the increased encroachment of an ever-poorer middle-class: "clever designs were mimicked by cheaper rivals and, by the late 1980s, it was in financial difficulties". Simulation of luxury is the driver of mainstream consumerism as we plunge into the new century. Businesses that sit in between real cheapness and real luxury are doomed.

  2. For the increased London-centric consolidation of that more expensive (but not authentic) luxury: "Home Retail is buying [only] three London stores which are on the capital's prime furniture shopping streets". Anyone looking at exploiting/catering to the higher-end markets needs to realise that this is a rapidly-shrinking demographic, both numerically and geographically. House prices are doing the same thing - the bursting economy is becoming a filter not for true or sustainable value, but merely for power through "network strength".

Right, I'm off to Poundsavers.

Thursday, June 02, 2011