tv Documentary RT December 1, 2013 5:29pm-6:01pm EST
new year all christmas you may suffer social consequences i wonder how much of that is due to the moguls of consumerism. i guess would benefit from filling this pressure to buy something even if it's something that is totally useless being a good gift gift giver is giving the tokens of your feelings toward someone else and often it isn't the amount of money that you spend it is the thought that goes into the purchase yeah i agree with you but i think if you go around shopping malls . you know pretty much all around the world in a couple of weeks prior to christmas or the new year you see a lot of people who are really stressed they feel this pressure to come up with a gift they want this gift to be in a very special for their loved ones but ultimately they are just down to a very heavy burden of. getting anything rather than offering i think what the what
the problem is is that many many people would like to spend rather than think. and it is. fullness of the gift that often has the most emotional impact but what if you fail to come on and i was present for you know a person that you care about and you know it could be due to the lack of time due to the lack of. money of whatever of but i think that person would be. i think what is important in our gift given process is. the palette of choices that it isn't just giving something that could be giving an experience it could be giving something that's consumable hopefully you're giving something that somebody is actually going to use and appreciate butt. yes certainly
in our modern era people are often spending money that they don't have and spending it on things they don't need to accomplish what they haven't really thought through i think what you've been talking about is primarily from the position of somebody who gives the gifts and will receive the gift but i think there is also one very important player here these are merchants who need us to spend that money and if i'm not mistaking those weeks between thanksgiving and christmas in the united states account for roughly twenty percent of. my experience has been that during that period of time people are much less rational when they shop precisely because of all the pressure they don't have the time to do their homework they don't have the time to compare prices and i think this hype was certainly benefit the retailers and merchants we think of the act of being a merchant in the twenty first century is being a player in
a bar fight where everybody is competing with everybody else for the customer's discretionary expenditure what makes the holiday season so interesting being a merchant is that many of your most important customers are novices were it were where it comes to your product in some very challenging season for merchants and marketers i wonder if you could talk about this tradition of giving gifts in the first place is it still relevant. to the present day realities pretty much everybody can afford to buy whatever he or she needs for himself i mean is the goal of the purpose of giving gifts as a trend as a tradition still the same as it used to be in the past well let's look at the origins of gift giving which is that giving a gift. it is
a way of showing somebody any emotion that you have trouble are to kill leading to them in an era where many of us are coming on the caving by email and tents and we often don't have the opportunity to look at somebody and i care about you i respect you i love you and we look to. as a representation of that. notion. in a time where we are more physically and emotionally separated that concept than i can as imminently more power and minutely less relevant to the reality of the situation now but on the other hand there is the traditional gift certificates and it's especially popular in the united states that has made some inroads in russia but so far no very successfully and when you look at that from
a psychological perspective it's essentially i think it's. good to me of the child that we discussed previously is that you simply have to come out. that a certain time it is recognizing you are in articulate this to be able to pick something out and wreck a good thing that you need a place keeper speaking about other choices if i found that one of the most popular gifts in europe. it's not a perfect you. when you think about it it seems like a safe option but at the same time from consumer behavior we know that people have a very high sounds a floyd. matic so i wonder if it after all such a good idea to give somebody the maddux or without knowing what they were realtor for answers are as someone who does a lot of business for the medics and he does. we know that our relationship to
fragrance is changing. as women spend more time working the habits of wearing a heavy fragrance are claiming as more of us who work in open as opposed to closed offices and as people are much more conscious of their allergic lease responses to such we tend often to bond with a fragrance early in our lives and stay with it even even though our noses actually be bald as we get old so it doesn't make sense to actually. give her a few minutes as a gift it seems to me a very risky option a potential candidate for a gift i want you to recognize that the giving of a fragrance isn't just about the smell it dissolves about the
symbol of the bottle that sits out in the public place and you may look at that bottle and not use it very often but you remember where it came from and the occasion that you got it i already mentioned the americans are some of the most generous gift givers. and i was surprised to find out that some of the most frugal christmas shoppers leave in the north atlantic at the relatively high for a person but there are people spend less than two hundred per person on various gifts and when you think about that the netherlands is the least to be the country that is one of the most socially progressive in the world they are the first to recognize gay marriage they believe to be at the forefront of social change around the world so it doesn't mean that sooner or later have to adopt this very practical no attitude to giving gifts. first of all retail trends follow housing trends and
that when you live in smaller spaces and smaller houses you have to be much more careful about what you bring in the front door and what you take out the back door one of the issues with. americans is that often we we have the luxury of space how big we have big houses we have big storage areas in our basements and the typical bourbon home where we can put all of the junk that people have given us over the years if i'm dutch and i'm living in amsterdam there's a premium on space and therefore i have to factor in that space to buy shopping dees citizens but it may mean also that the way i recognize somebody else's say nefer quince may be not just the giving of things but the giving of experiences we have to take
all of us are still locked up. in the phenomenon of friendly fire probably extends back to the invention of gunpowder. kill a bunch of people who don't know what their families there are to us people. reading. this summer shoots my brother in the leg not intentional because it because it was night time for in the morning even the best even the bausch shoulders. are going to make mistakes this is this whole idea of brotherhood and author and camaraderie in this sense it was in this context that has absolutely no place. for the. science technology innovation all the least developed from around russia
we've got the future covered. when the crisis leaves its traces everywhere. become the norm. children pay for the mistakes of adults. by word you know tobacco fields and that kind of thing. they are the ones who come back to life. because games are just in their memories. welcome back to worlds apart the way of discussing global shopping habits with on their heels mr underhill before the break we were talking about the hype of winter shopping and i think it's part of
a much larger phenomenon of consumer as you know drive to buy more goods and services and ever increasing numbers and i think when you think about consumers really usually think about americans you mention because this be cars but if you look at the recent consumer studies it says that americans and europeans are actually pretty disciplined shoppers things they say and it is other parts of the world asia middle is the. come get enough of shopping we passed over a very magic moment in the mid one nine hundred ninety s. . where previous to that the. global wealth came in the form of old money but starting in the mid one nine hundred ninety s. and russia is a very good example of that the overwhelming majority of global wealth now is is in the hands of people who have earned it in the course of their own lifetime and the
scale of the money that they have earned. gives them the ability to consume at a productive just rate and that has. both created opportunity and challenge particularly for the luxury luxury goods merchant who is selling to an audience that often doesn't know exactly what it is there are but we can buy houses if we have new money just as we saw the russian. billionaire buy a seventy five million dollar apartment in new york city we have people who can buy yachts here. but how do we sell them the more subtle things whether it's an expensive watch. whether it's understanding the difference between a suit that costs. two thousand euros and
a suit that costs ten thousand euros. now you've been talking about. people for going after luxury items but i think this trend is far broader it's not just you know the after class it's the middle class as well and according to the most recent nelson's global study i think it's chinese and indians who are there were more impulsive and brown driven shall for us and your company and of ourselves. house of. mental health. i wonder if you're actually trying to spread the same culture of runaway consumerism buying more than you need. stop stop stop stop right there we teach our children about hygiene we teach our children about the colleges we also need to teach our children about responsible sumption i run a research and salting from that works with merchants and marketers all over the
world what what we are focused on is them putting their best foot forward because in the twenty first century it is no longer a polite war where l'oreal is competing with estée lauder it is a bar fight where everybody is competing with everyone else absolutely but i think part of your job also involves using sound says and sometimes maybe advising merchants on how to manipulate the senses of that consumers to encourage more and more sales. obviously many people in western countries are now more sophisticated but many of those consumers are calming to the fore in their developing emerging markets and also experience then i wonder whether these overseas markets will have to go through the same cycle of. excessive consumption that some of the western countries have to go through well let's look at it in a broader. text if i look at an eight year old girl. in the.
show and i look at an eight year old girl in the suburbs of moscow and i look at an eight year old girl in the suburbs of detroit all of them have the same. caviare brains that they have been exposed to television they've been exposed to media they've been exposed to. magazines and all of them have an interest because the marketing engines. of media are focused on the younger and younger and sooner you and i have reached a point in our lives where we know that there are very few products that are transfer missional but our marketing engines are focused on a younger and younger consumer who is vulnerable to that message in terms of something merging market. consumers are stepping out from
a history of depth. and they are coming into it with a with an appetite for newness and appetite for sumption that is a product of their of their pasts and we certainly hope that they learn to become better and more frugal and more focused and simmers simply because the world cannot afford to consume in the same way that we as westerners have done over the past fifty years we can't afford it and yet if you look at the studies again it seems that even though as you said the world cannot afford to sustain such consumption many people especially in those developing markets are in danger china fast often via more things than these and i think that's the sundays in asia is around forty percent of people on their feet and bases by more than they need their
impulse shoppers this is much higher than in the west and yet you don't have to recognize that this is is the name driven by environmental psychologists and let's just look at it from a couple of different ways here when i visit my office in shanghai. i'm guessing that a third of my pulleys still live at home. they live with their with their families which means. is that everything that i am paying them is discretionary income if i visit my offices in new york nobody who works in my office at that same age is living at home meaning that they have to pay rent they have to pay for their own maintenance one of the issues of modern consumption is that it is often driven by housing. and that if you go to india and china where living unit is very different than it is in north america part of what it
does is put discretionary expend to cheer in the hands of a younger consumer who doesn't have to pay for your costs that that same customer in the west would have to spend. income is also lower the price of the brands that you may be after is comparable to. oh and this is part of what is a very interesting challenge for a chinese merchant or a brother zillion merchant is knowing that that middle class customer is questioning the fact why does this prada bag cost one price in. paulo and cost a very different price in my the we are moving to a global global market and that has implications for us everywhere they don't move in here in moscow adults are saying that there is almost a porch
a mistake drive on the part of. business and some financial institutions to have to wisen this valve in its consumer appetite in emerging markets even knowing that you know this may not be sustainable in the long run just using these changes and trying to. i think. one of my last columns written for goldman sachs talked about what the potential. impact is if we have a global financial belt. we are seeing it in two zones across the world first of all china if the real estate bubble bursts we have a chinese population with a long history of being savers. and it will not take much to have that chinese wallet shut well maybe they will become more like americans who i know are
now increasingly reliant shopping least sixty percent according to nelson and they also point out that eighty eight percent of americans are very good at collecting and using that discount coupons so it seems that americans after all actually have the art of shopping and shopping in their rationale well let's let's recognize something speaking as an. american who researchers you know shopping. for american merchants we are facing the fact that in the enormous percentage of americans face the prospect of being downwardly mobile meaning that there are many. realize that they will not live the same way that their parents did. and that they may have similar appetites and have made similar longings for goods but are simply not going to be able to afford them this is one of the challenges of
our mature western. nama culture there are many americans who will not live better than their parents and that's something that hasn't happened ever and that part of that contrast between china and india and russia where there are so many of your children who. surely that they are going to live a better life than their parents did. it has to be recognized to be living standards in both russia china and india are still much lower than the living standards in the united states we are just trying to reach the bar that you have long ago now we've been discussing the spread of the small culture around the world the spread of consumer culture and i know that in the united states the
construction of morals is actually declining very steeply and more and more consumers they're shifting towards only line retailers to buy whatever they need and i think be on line environment you have more control over what you how much time you need to consider any particular purchase how is it going to change the environmental psychology because part of your job began to use the senses of consumers to encourage sales in the online environment it is the concern ultimately the control of the of the environment of the shopping environment let's take a step back and look at. culture. in merging markets first is because shopping mall security. and this is
something that in the u.s. is no longer an issue. the shopping mall offers a controlled in environment. it is one in which i'm not only going to shop but i'm also going to look and see be seen by other people in the u.s. retail trends follow housing housing trends so we are watching several things happen first is the repopulation of some of our cities and as people come back into a city they are shopping a city. second is is that we are seeing a much more concerted effort at channel which which means that i am not separating the bricks and mortar world from the online world i am using online as a way of educating myself before i go in to look at product in the.
right and the separate silos that have. done this is catalog this is bricks and mortar and this is all mine are just not existing and email doesn't mean that the ability. the potential for profit markups. decreasing for all those brick and mortar shells part of what this means is a couple of things first is using our supply our supply chain better to be able to differentiate products so i'm not seeing the same product in stores i'm seeing online second is. that many products may be a comedy product but all of the things that i use with it are things where i build my margin so that if i if i have a smart apple phone. that may be a product but that case that i put that phone on or the cords and wires
that i use to be able to make sure that it's charged in every place that is the place where i earn my margin so part of what it's been to is a challenge for us to be more creative and a challenge for us to manage both our inventory and the expectations of our customers better doesn't mean they're better future for the consumer or for the who do you think will emerge as the ultimate winner. if we thought of about the twentieth century marketers led somebody could create trends in london or paris or new york. in the twenty first century it's very important that we are good followers because often our shopping and come some and fashion trends come up from the street and therefore it's very important for us to stand up and pay attention
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