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“In a dance as old as time”: Bristol shoppers get ready for some 1950s bargains. Paul Townsend

Amazon price glitch: to buy or not to buy, that is the moral question

Christmas is never plain sailing. It’s tough on consumers trying to work out how much food to buy and how to get their hands on the latest must-have toy for children, and it’s tough for retailers trying…
Do online shop staff do online shopping while at work in their online shopping warehouse? Jakub Kaczmarczyk/EPA

Shopping online at work? Feel free to blame your boss

On Friday we witnessed images reminiscent of the London Riots from a few years ago. People with a crazed look in their eyes descended on shopping malls to plunder their contents. They fought with others…
A Wal-Mart employee puts a bow on a discounted television ahead of Black Friday in Los Angeles. Reuters

Retail rage: why Black Friday leads shoppers to behave badly

The manic nature of Black Friday has often led shoppers to engage in fistfights and other misbehavior in their desperation to snatch up the last ultra-discounted television, computer or pair of pants…

Do you know how your clothes were made?

One moment: one recent Saturday afternoon, I was sitting on the top deck of a red London bus, watching a sea of shoppers flood over Oxford Circus. The cream of the British high street have their flagship…
Lidl: will Australian shoppers line up for another discount grocery chain? Robert Wallace/Flickr

A Lidl bit of grocery competition could cause a Coles rethink

Australian shoppers have inadvertently invited global discount grocers to our shores by demonstrating their readiness to adopt private labels. In 2001, German discounter Aldi opened its first store in…
You want to see what’s in my trolley? What’s in it for me? Alan

The next internet revolution brings data to the market

Every day, our lives are being captured digitally in the data that is generated by our transactions, interactions and movements. And as we become more connected through the internet of things, even more…
Toy catalogues relentlessly exploit the notion of educational product purchases as acts of motherly care. EPA/Erik Lesser

Toy catalogues put a Nerf gun to a mother’s head

The rise of intensive mothering has turned parenting into the ultimate ironwoman event. In an age in which the demands of the workplace have increased, so too the ideals of motherhood have become more…
Christmas consumer ritualism: how will Christmas 2013 pan out for retailers? AAP Image/Daniel Munoz

Aussie retailers should get their Christmas wish this year

Consumer Sentiment fell by 4.8% in December, but despite the drop other indicators still point toward a robust Christmas period for retailers. Retail trade recorded its strongest result for three consecutive…
Customers leaving a Target store in Sydney earlier this year, with some of the biogradable shopping bags that can be bought at the counter. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Target’s plastic bag backdown a loss for the silent majority

Charging for plastic bags at the checkout and even banning disposable plastic bags has been a growing global trend in recent years. So what should we make of the news that retailer Target is binning its…
Is everyone online? anguskirk

Some high streets must die so that others can flourish

Whether we like it or not, the world of retail is changing. More and more of us are using the internet to browse shops, read product reviews and search for bargains. It is hardly surprising that this is…
Wanting things can make you happier than purchasing them straight away. Shutterstock

Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can put it on lay-by

The fact that that money can’t buy you happiness is generally well accepted. Happiness, it appears, is more about meaning and satisfaction than the acquisition of more stuff. But money isn’t all bad. It…
It’s hard to figure out exactly what Chinese shoppers want. _chrisUK

Tesco’s ‘secret weapon’ no use in China

Compared to westerners, Asian consumers are variety seekers. Their frequent store-hopping has presented western supermarkets with a difficult conundrum. Follow the same strategy that worked well with loyal…
Can Stelios run supermarkets as well as he runs airlines? Barry Batchelor/PA

Stelios' easyFoodstore will struggle to get off the ground

How low can you go? That is the question that easyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou has posed to grocery shoppers with the announcement of plans for “easyFoodstore”, a budget grocery shop in Croydon, south…
There’s loads of evidence that the type of music played affects shoppers' buying habits. http://www.flickr.com/photos/hopkinsii

The tills are alive with the sound of Muzak

I spent the Christmas of 1988-89 stacking shelves in a liquor store. It paid $2 per hour (a pittance even way back then), and the boss made me mop the floor before vacuuming it, which continues to annoy…
Be the change you wish to see in the world - it may have more impact than you realise. Corepics VOF/Shutterstock

Neighbourhood watch: how to go green and influence people

We all know that children learn by example. I know if I swear in front of my four year old I’m going to hear that word again soon, probably right in front of my mother-in-law, a school teacher, or a priest…
Prominent signage of unit pricing could help consumers make more informed choices about their grocery shopping. AAP

Unit pricing is smart shopping practice, but do consumers care?

In the confusing world of brands, package sizes, advertising and price promotions, what can help consumers make informed choices? Unit pricing – the price per standardised unit of measure introduced in…

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