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Cheap: The Real Cost of the Global Trend for Bargains, Discounts & Consumer Choice

Overview

Manufactured goods have been getting cheaper, both in absolute terms and relative to services. Since the Consumer Prices Index was first launched in 1996, the prices of "goods" have fallen an average 2%; while the prices of services have risen 35%. The most talked about example has been in textiles: since 1996, the average price of clothes has fallen 36%. But it is not just clothes that have been falling in price: new cars are 1.5% cheaper than they were in 1996; household appliances are 24% cheaper; toys are 30%...

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Overview

Manufactured goods have been getting cheaper, both in absolute terms and relative to services. Since the Consumer Prices Index was first launched in 1996, the prices of "goods" have fallen an average 2%; while the prices of services have risen 35%. The most talked about example has been in textiles: since 1996, the average price of clothes has fallen 36%. But it is not just clothes that have been falling in price: new cars are 1.5% cheaper than they were in 1996; household appliances are 24% cheaper; toys are 30% cheaper, and of course, in the audio-visual category, you'll find things are on average now 56% cheaper than they were nine years ago.

Although manufactured goods have been getting cheaper, with that trend, Bosshart warns, comes cheap morals and cheap ethics. With implications for the environment, the labor market, and for companies, "the age of cheap" comes with a price.

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Editorial Reviews

Soundview Executive Book Summaries
International lecturer on consumer trends, retail analysis and social change, Bosshart exposes the global fixation with bargain hunting. Cheap points out that in the past several years prices in almost every trade sector have fallen—in some instances more than 20 percent! The paradoxical business strategies of companies such as Aldi, Disney and Wal-Mart are uncovered in this book, showing how the obsession with low prices has begun to affect global economies. Copyright © 2006 Soundview Executive Book Summaries
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780749445348
  • Publisher: Kogan Page, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 3/28/2006
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 197
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.74 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. David Bosshart is the managing director of the Gottlieb-Duttweiler Institute in Zurich, Switzerland and a lecturer on trend research, concept consulting, and political theory. He is also the author of Cult Marketing and The Future of the Consumer Society.

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Table of Contents

1 The age of cheap : why (almost) everything is getting cheaper 1
2 The axis of evil in the economy : Wal-Mart, China and the Internet 39
3 The Wal-Martization of our society : how we are all becoming Wal-Mart 58
4 The models for present-day rationalization : Aldification, McDonaldization, Starbuckifications etc 80
5 Faster, better, cheaper : intensified time markets drive the age of cheap 116
6 No frills : on the illusions of the service economy 149
7 What is worth what? : prices in the age of cheap 163
8 The next chapter : the new normality in globalizing markets 175
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