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The Ever Evolving Department Store

Ian Harvey
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Simply compare your shopping list with that of your mother if you remember, you would see a massive contrast in terms of products that people considered important back in the days and now. This is understandable, considering the Capital societies we live in, however observing these subtle but rapid changes reveal a lot about the nature of consumer societies we are a part of.

One arena that has expanded and transformed in more ways that one could count, is our dear old departmental stores. Look at some of the old pictures of the departmental stores and compare them with today’s massive supermarkets, the realization will daunt on you that we are evolving supersonic, as a consumer society.

There are countless number of factors that could be discussed in order to understand this surge in departmental stores’ anatomy, however we have to consider only a few here. One of the most important reasons is the tech revolution, including the satellite and cable TV surge in late 80’s all through the nineties.

Back in the days, the visit to the departmental stores was a journey of a sort. There were odd supermarkets here and there but mostly one had to switch from one store to another in order to tick through the entire shopping list. Fast forward to 2015, and most of us are still browsing from shelf to shelf, section to section, selecting various sizes, but from the comfort of our bedrooms, using our smartphones and tablets.

This brings the supermarkets and departmental stores to a very critical turn, where they have to come up with unique and trendy ideas to lure the consumers into their stores. This is not as easy as it may sound, because pulling people out of their beds is a hard job. (The Huffington Post)

Every medium to major superstore chain now hires specialists to develop a strategy and devise a program to generate more sales. These specialists target every little festivities available at their disposal while designing their marketing strategies. The biggest of all is Christmas, and it is not just the December that feels the heat of consumer spend, one could find reds and whites scattered around superstores even in September.

Every where we see today, we find colourful traps, and marketing subliminal sign boards to convince us to visit the superstores as often as we could. The face of the consumer society is an ever-changing phenomenon that we can observe just by popping into one of our local supermarket.