Saturday, March 28, 2009
How will this recent downturn in the economy affect luxury purchases? Considering that almost everything that QVC sells is a want and not a need, this is an important question.
I can't help but think about how my grandmothers, who are both children of the Great Depression, approach luxury purchases. They certainly aren't opposed to buying a little something sparkly or special for themselves or for a gift. But if they decide to splurge and buy a luxury item, the purchase will be well-considered. They are willing to spend more money for better quality, good customer service, and names they trust. They also expect the purchase to last a lifetime, which means that good craftsmanship and classic design are both a must.
Counter this thinking with mine. I never expect customer service. I just assume that I'm on my own, because employees are usually underpaid, understaffed, and under-trained. In fact, they usually just don't care and will do and say anything to get you to go away as quickly as possible. If you're dealing with customer service over the phone, they may even be located in India and barely speak English. Let me tell you, that always works out well! I also don't expect anything I buy to last. I assume whatever I buy will fall apart sooner rather than later. Since everything is made in China anyway, why spend the extra money on something high-end? It'll just fall apart too, right?
Will there be a return to my grandmothers' way of thinking? Will we give up our love 'em and leave 'em disposable attitude?
Let's ask QVC's reigning jewelry queen, Judith Ripka. According to an article in Portfolio:
Judith Ripka believes the current mind-set will have a longer, residual effect than the actual recession. "The day will come when consumers will not worry as much about how they spend their every dollar, but they will always remember these economic challenges when contemplating a purchase," said Ripka. "Luxury will continue to be desirable, but timeless and classic pieces will undoubtedly be the focus because of their lasting value."
Will Judith and other home shopping designers switch gears and focus more on timeless styles? It's just hard for me to imagine home shopping channels not jumping onto every trend bandwagon that comes passing by hoping to cash in as quickly as possible.
Judith will have the TSV on April 12th ... here's a little sneak peak. Shhh ...