Another Sunday passes by with frantic Consumermas (the new name with Christmas being degraded significantly) shoppers working into a sweat- fretting, aching over the difficult decisions they have to make when buying for a second cousin on the other side of the country with a ten pound budget; or a baby not born yet with no knowledge of the sex.
Here we've had mince pies in the shops with a pre-Christmas sell by date, since September and now we've jumped straight to Black Friday. Except we haven't even copied it properly. This random excuse to increase sales has been going on for weeks in advance, it's been repurposed by some retailers as 'black ticket' sales, whatever that's supposed to mean
The omni-channel and seamless shopping experience is the Holy Grail many retailers continue to seek to achieve. Companies are told that the customer expects the same level of brand engagement whether in-store, on a phone, a computer, tablet or mobile and by delivering this, the customer will remain a loyal shopper, spend more, returning again and again.
Like most people I love the idea of shopping locally. The thing is it has to provide additional benefits other than just a warm fuzzy feeling. I expect good customer service, I like to find products that I can't find in the big box shops, and I don't mind spending a little extra to find something unique.
I know I am not alone in my frustration as a conscious fashion consumer. Design led, sustainably produced fashion that a discerning lover of fashion can feel proud to wear (and also afford) is hard to get hold of. As Founder of the Ethical Fashion Forum, you can be sure I'm going to be asked what I'm wearing, wherever I go