This week I have done some external research, through both primary and secondary methods. As I have been opened to this new concept of the auto-ethnographic study, I am realising that it is imploring me to get amongst my research and become the results. I have found some interesting articles which I will briefly explore throughout this post and I also have documented some observations I made when I went for a brief trip to Pitt St Mall in Sydney.
To begin with, some cold, hard facts.
According to an article entitled, “China overtakes US to be biggest economy by 2024,” in the Telegraph, the world’s largest consumer, the US will soon be defeated by China in 2024. As major global consumer economies, this will have drastic impact on many different countries, businesses, brands and consumers. The US had remained as the largest consumer economy for the past decade, though it has been predicted that by 2014, China will spend a staggering $10.5US trillion dollars on consumer spending. (Mianyang, 2014)
In an article entitled ‘Chinese Consumers; Doing it their way’ on the Economist website, Chinese consumer patterns are set to increase over the next decade. They are also at a high throughout the globe, where two thirds of Chinese luxury shopping is done outside of China. This is due to the fact that Chinese shoppers are savvy. They research and observe price differentiations throughout the globe. They do this through sites such as Alibaba, an online shopping giant in China. China has become the world’s biggest e-commerce market, spending $540US billion dollars in 2012. (Mianyang, 2014)
When considering consumption patterns of luxury items, I found some interesting information which coincided with that which I have observed myself. This week, I took a trip to Pitt St Mall in Sydney, where I visited several stores in order to make some observations. I entered ten stores, these are as following; Gucci, Hermès, Prada, Myer, Witchery, Saba, Country Road, Sportsgirl, Topshop and General Pants. I targeted three luxury fashion stores, three middle range stores, three ‘high street’ stores and one department store, in order to observe the difference in clientèle. I noted the amount of clients and their ethnicity over the course of 20 minutes in each store.
NB: Due to the fact that I was merely observing, the results can not be deemed 100% accurate.
Gucci- 6 clients, 4 ASIAN, 2 CAUCASIAN
Hermès- 4 clients, 4 ASIAN
Prada- 6 clients, 5 ASIAN, 1 CAUCASIAN
Myer- 50+ clients, 18 ASIAN, 39 CAUCASIAN, 3 AFRICAN
Witchery- 11 clients, 2 ASIAN, 9 CAUCASIAN
Saba- 6 clients, 6 CAUCASIAN
Country Road- 19 clients, 3 ASIAN, 16 CAUCASIAN
Sportsgirl- 23 clients, 4 ASIAN, 19 CAUCASIAN
Topshop- 26 clients, 8 ASIAN, 18 CAUCASIAN
General Pants- 19 clients, 9 ASIAN, 10 CAUCASIAN
As stated, these results are merely observations, made for the purpose of comparing my own results with quantitative research. I chose to make these observations as I am performing an auto-ethnographic study where I am embodying the research.
From these observations it is clear that more people frequent the high street stores rather than the luxury stores. From these results, it is evident that the cheaper stores bring more people. It was also interesting to note that more Asian people seem to frequent the luxury stores, where there were a lot more Caucasians in the high street stores. I will be making the same observations next week, in order to compare and contrast the results and consider other variables.
Mianyang, 2014, “Chinese Consumers; Doing it their way” in The Economist at http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21595019-market-growing-furiously-getting-tougher-foreign-firms-doing-it-their-way, visited on 15th September 2014
Pin Chan S, 2014, “China takes over US to be biggest economy by 2024” in The Telegraph at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11078885/China-overtakes-US-to-be-biggest-economy-by-2024.html, visited on 15th September 2014
Image One: Guo Gingming, The Economist
Image Two: Bain, The Economist