Being in retail for more years than I would admit to, it never ceases to amaze me that the cost of something is far more important to the majority of customers than the quality of the item.
4 Corners on ABC tonight continued the Coles/Woolies bashing and the market manipulation that comes with having a stranglehold in retail market share.
Interesting to note that the sausage maker supplying Woolies had to pad the products out so much with "filler" that he admitted he wouldn't eat it himself ...
Of course, we all look for a bargain and I too go to these giants for brand name products, but to see the customers in front of me buying limp carrots, wilted greens, soggy tomatoes etc. just to save a couple of cents in the kg is beyond me. There is a dedicated dehli and fruit market just on the next level - go figure.
The butcher just next shop along, who will freshly hand cut anything you want, struggles with people preferring to buy shrink wrapped, week ago factory packaged meat from who knows where...
We used to build computers for the hospitals, Government Departments and selected customers. Every component was studied and selected for being the best, each PC took 4 days to build and test and we made around $200 per unit - we had close to zero failure rate over a 3 year period of the machine. We don't build PC's any more because people won't pay for the extra care and quality. We still make around $200 each, but the failure rates on the so called main stream brand names are embarrassing - but hey, the manufacturer now has to wear the warranty issues.
In my spare time I make wooden jewelery boxes - I can't sell them, the raw timber alone is more than twice the cost of the stained pine or veneered finshed competition - I have a beautiful collection though
Whenever I want to buy something for myself it normally means a special order because the average buyer wants the "cheaper" version, often I'll have to import it because there is no demand in Australia for the better quality products.
I am certainly not well off in any terms, but would prefer to go without than buying a piece of crap.
Interestingly I have had this discussion with so called "bargain hunters" in the past and there appears to be a real seperation in the thoughts of people buying on price versus the ones that understand and seek out quality.
I wonder if others are seeing the erosion of quality product availability - it even happens with services. My sister had a plumber come around to fix a sewer blockage, they ended up kicking the toilet bowl from it's cement footing thus breaking the bowl - a casualty of the repair which she had to pay for - or the previous plumber that appeared only to dig a huge hole under her pavers, only to decide it was too hard and didn't come back.