Free Essay

Shop Till Drop

In: Business and Management

Submitted By conan0007
Words 2837
Pages 12
Shop Untill You Drop

Outline

Thesis: First world capitalistic values have had a great impact on the modernization of developing countries.

I. Introduction
II. Definition of consumerism
III. Consumerism in the First World A. Consumerism in the USA B. Consumerism in European countries
IV. The spreading of consumerism in the developing countries A. Consumerism in China B. Consumerism in India C. Consumerism in South America
V. Cause and effect of the expending consumerism in the world A. Cause B. Effect
VI. Conclusion

A hundred years ago, Napoleon said that China is a lion which fell asleep. This may, or may not, be true. If Napoleon was right, is this lion still asleep or is it waking up? If you walk in Akihabara, the most famous place for digital product shopping in Japan, you can see many Chinese signs and hear Chinese announcements all day. Chinese are buying expensive products all over the world today. In only a few years, China has mastered the art of production and the purchasing of that production. It has taken the wisdom in regards to markets and consumption, which has taken advanced countries several decades to build up. Similar phenomenona happens in not only China but also many other developing countries. In contrast to the gradual development of Western societies, some developing countries have gone from poverty to gluttony in a few decades. Within several generations, people's concerns have gone from basic survival to a love of more material and luxuries. Consumerism has been the main value in the USA from the 19th century and it has spread rapidly to European industrial countries. After the Second World War, the First World capitalistic values have had a great impact on the modernization of developing countries.
Consumerism is a kind of social moral values which is generally popular in western developed countries. It is a guidance and adjustment of thoughts, desire, emotion, and practice in people's consumption. The principle idea of consumerism is the pursuit for endless material as the final purpose and value of life. In other

words, it is the theory that an increasing consumption of goods is economically desirable.
Consumerism is connected with late capitalism. One of the motivating powers of capitalism is the pursuit of wealth, and it is represented by the gain of profit. To gain profit relies on the trading of products and it needs consumers to buy the products. Because of the growth of productivity and excess of products which are caused by improving technology, the desire of consumers has influenced more and more the value of the products. Since a long time ago, some economists have found that encouraging and expanding consumption demand has become one of the conditions to the operation of capitalism.
Some theories believe that the earliest consumerism started in European countries, but the USA is the country that made it to reach the modern stage. After the war, the characteristics of the modern consumption society became more obvious. The thought of "Money is everything" have leaded people's all activities. Compared with the past, atmosphere had been more commercial, making money to enjoy life became a basic belief. "The United States has more malls than high schools; Americans spend more time shopping than reading." (Quindlen, 76) Many products, such as cars, refrigerators, washing machines, had been purchased by most families. A car used to be a luxury for the rich class to show off their social status, but it changed to one of the most common items after the 1920s. Today consumerism is still a leading value in the US. In his journal, Professor Wyatt says:

"What unites modern Americans? Why, materialism, of course. Consumerism is the keystone of community in the United States, according to noted cultural observer James Twitchell. Shopping to fill a void in one's life is not pathetic, it's actually profound, argues James B. Twitchell, a cheeky cultural critic and expert on advertising and consumerism in America. "We used to go into the dark cathedral looking for life's meaning and then do a little shopping on the side," says the University of Florida professor. "Now we just go straight to the mall. We live through things. We create ourselves through things. And we change ourselves by changing our things." (Wyatt, 27)
The American consumption culture had controled the domestic market, in the same time, it also spread rapidly abroad. Some European elites had doubted about the American lifestyle, but more people were seeking the answer to the European future by referring to the processes of development in the US. They didn't copy the exact same production and management model from America, but no doubt they absorbed the essence. Mass-production has to be related to mass-marketing, so American store management became the important link of the modern consumption. And consumers could get standardized cheap goods through this link. Influenced by American business concepts, discount shops, malls, chain stores which had the power

of extending the market grew up in European countries. Clearly the traditional philosophy such as the retail small stores hadn't fit the trend any more.
After America become the strongest country in the world, the new lifestyle based on consumerism had spread abroad. First it influenced Europe, and also some developing countries couldn't be exception. China has had the most astonishing change during these twenty years. It has become the world's largest manufacture of consum products. Its cheap labor has made China so competitive. Moreover, the huge stream of foreign investment has given Chinese more consume power, and the consumerism do has grown in China everyday. There is many evidence that can prove it. The Mall of America in Minnesota had been the biggest mall in the US and the world. But now there are four shopping malls bigger than the Mall of America in China. And "China's car culture is taking off: It's expected that 4.1 million passenger cars will have been sold in China in 2006, a 25 percent jump over 2005, with more than 10 million private cars in China now, or about one car for every 120 people." (O'Leary, 12) "For Chinese women just entering the middle class, luxury begins with the "affordable," such as skin creams and cosmetics. "(12) As Dr. O'Leary says, many young people, especially who are living in big cities, believe that the more products they have, the more happiness they feel. They want more money to enjoy their life, and they consider the happiness of a family is based on what kind of things they have in their families.(12)
India is a country that has received the impact from the first world. "Since the

early 1990s, when globalization began, the Indian economy had grown at a steady rate of 6-8 per cent a year, its large middle class growing at twice that rate. The rich have become much richer, and within the country, too, there are a large number of billionaires and millionaires. " (Butalia, 8) India is the fifth largest consumer market in the world today. "Whether it is cars, cellphones (soon half of all Indians will own at least one) or household goods, the Indian consumer market has exploded - goaded on by a mushrooming advertising industry. Hundreds of ad-strewn glossy magazines have sprung up with minimal editorial content. " (8)
Latin American countries are also changing. "A regional economy is emerging in the western hemisphere, and old stereotypes of poverty-stricken Latin Americans are out of date." (Galceran, Ignacio, and Jon, 26) Actually the pattern of consumption in Latin Americans is similar with the US. "Almost one in six urban Latin-American consumers surveyed bought a compact disc or cassette tape in the previous month, versus one in five among all U.S. Consumers; One in ten Latin consumers visited new-car dealerships and one in five went away for the weekend, the same shares as in the U.S; Four in ten urban Latins went shopping for clothes for themselves, compared with five in ten Americans, and three in ten shopped for clothes for a child or teenager, the same share as in the U.S." (26)
Consumerism was born and developed in developed countries and has become a prevalent value all over the world. There are several reasons. First is the economical reason. After the Second World War, capitalistic countries have had economic

growth rapidly, it has created a great amount of wealth in their societies. Thus, the idea of consumerism has been brought about and supported by public. It has caused a wide and deep impact to developed countries after they have made great achievement in economic construction. Second reason for consumerism to spread all over the world is politics. In some developed countries such as China, the government makes policies to promote domestic demand and stimulate consumption. It will become a more suitable environment to the growth of consumerism with the encouragement from the nation. Third reason for the spreading of consumerism in these developing countries is the market. Our large and productive economy demands us that we should make consuming as a lifestyle. To purchase and own material are routine now. We are required to seek spiritual satisfaction and self-satisfaction from it. The last reason is attitude reason. People can get rich extremely quick in the unsteady economic environment in developing countries. These rich people don't have enough time to build up the right concept about consuming, and they have a strong desire to show their status. They have been influenced by consumerism very easily.
From the historical view, no matter what the purpose is, many countries might want others to imitate their way of life, because the benefits of it are huge and difficult to quantify by specific number. However, the countries which can do this are not many, in the 20th century probably the USA is the only one. History will make the decision about if the American way of life is good or not, but obviously it is

not fit in every developed country perfectly. American consumerism also has had the negative impact to social systems in the third world. The main reason is that there are enormous disparities in the standard of living between the US and developed countries. Most wealth is hold by few people and they are forming a "special consuming class", and the majority of people are still struggling for enough food. As a result, the inequality of society and the polarization between rich and poor have stood out much more than in the past.
Consumption is the prerequisite for stimulating production, low purchase power will lead to low production. They are directly proportional. But when the majority of people of one society are not ready to reach the high consumption, consumerism only in the rich class does not bring coordinated development to the whole society. Moreover, the United States is the world's largest consumer country, its citizen use much more natural resources than any other countries. According to the World Resources Institute, the United States consumers purchase one forth of oil, one third of paper, 40 percent of beef in the world. But can the earth support the estimated nine billion people who are likely to be alive at mid-century if everyone adopts a consumer-oriented lifestyle like Americans? The credible prediction is, even if this consumer pattern is imitated by China, the impact on the world will be calamitous. However, the global spreading of a modern consumer culture suits people's pursuit of a modern life and it is a trend hard to resist, but governments in the developing world should realize that there is no way they can continue to follow the path of

"development" as labeled that way in the 1950s. The earth is approaching its limits, we need reconsideration of the consumer culture that stresses the acquisition of ever more material goods. The focus should be on true prosperity and well-being, "We need a better concept of prosperity, a shared prosperity, a lasting prosperity, a prosperity built around the concept of people's capacity to flourish, within the confines of a finite planet."

Works cited
Butalia, Urvashi. "Greed at the top: consumerism has hit the big time in India, where shopping malls are popping up across the country and luxury car sales are booming. It's not a pretty sight, writes Urvashi Butalia." New Internationalist July-Aug. 2010: 8+.
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Galceran, Ignacio, and Jon Berry. "A new world of consumers."
American Demographics 17.3 (1995): 26+.
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O'Leary, Noreen. "The new superpower: China's emerging middle class: as consumerism meetsCommunism, the masses embrace Western brands." ADWEEK 48.1 (2007): 12+.
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Wyatt, Rebecca. "Bought in the U.S.A." Insight on the News 20 Dec. 1999: 27
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Quindlen, Anna. “Honestly--You Shouldn't Have: Stuff and stuff and nonsense. More than ever,America's crazed consumerism seems absurd.” Newsweek 3 Dec. 2001: 76
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Sources

"At the UN, a discussion on consumerism and its impact on the planet." One Country
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"Bull market in a China shop." Money Marketing (2010): 52
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Butalia, Urvashi. "Greed at the top: consumerism has hit the big time in India, where shopping malls are popping up across the country and luxury car sales are booming. It's not a pretty sight, writes Urvashi Butalia." New Internationalist July-Aug. 2010: 8+.
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Galceran, Ignacio, and Jon Berry. "A new world of consumers."
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Isaacson, Lanae. “ The front lines of shopping. ” The Wilson Quarterly 28. February. 2004
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O'Leary, Noreen. "The new superpower: China's emerging middle class: as consumerism meetsCommunism, the masses embrace Western brands." ADWEEK 48.1 (2007): 12+.
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Quindlen, Anna. “Honestly--You Shouldn't Have: Stuff and stuff and nonsense. More than ever,America's crazed consumerism seems absurd.” Newsweek 3 Dec. 2001: 76
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Wyatt, Rebecca. "Bought in the U.S.A." Insight on the News 20 Dec. 1999: 27
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...O N SMALL SHOPS A STUDY OF DELHI AND NCR Kumar Singh* Reetesh K umar Singh* Aditya Prakash Tripathi** O RGANIZED retail sector has witnessed a CAGR of around 35 per cent over the past five years and currently contributing around 10 per cent to the country’s GDP & eight percent of the employment. The Retail Sector is seeing investments of up to Rs. 6000 crore by the 20 prominent retail players. On the other hand (A report by Govt. of India in 2004 by the centre for policy alternatives entitled FDI in India’s retail sector: ‘More bad than good’ stated that) retailing is “probably the primary form of disguised unemployment, underemployment in the country. India has 35 towns each with a population of over one million. If Wal-Mart were to open an average Wal-Mart store in each of these cities and they reached the average Wal-Mart performance per store, we are looking at a turnover of over Rs. 80, 330 million ($1.82 billion) with only 10,195 employees. Extrapolating this with the average trend in India, it would mean displacing about 4,32,000 persons. If large retailers were to obtain 20 per cent of the retail trade, ‘this would mean a turnover of Rs. 800 billion ($ 18 billion) at current market price. And of course, would mean an employment of just 43,540 persons displacing meanly eight million persons employed in the unorganized retail sector. Understanding the importance of the issue, the present study is aimed to investigate the impact of Malls on small shops and......

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Case Study - Marks & Spencer

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Booster Juice

...Executive Summary Booster juice franchise offers a wide variety of smoothies comprising of pure juice, fruit sorbet, vanilla frozen yogurt, frozen fruit, fresh yogurt. The store will be located at Preston Crossing at the mini mall strip, opposite Walmart. The shop will be incorporated with one manager, four part-time and two full time employees. The manager will be on salary and will oversee all operations. Two supervisors will oversee day to-day operations of the shop and the four part-time employees will be responsible for customer services. Both full time and part-time employees will be paid hourly wages. Initial requirements for all furniture, fixture, computer software and hardware and equipment will be supplied by Booster Juice Inc as part of the turnkey operation. All other supplies will be purchased from Booster Juice Inc. Our shop will be incorporated. Richard Azinwi, Nadia Maqbool and Ravi Brar will be the equity owners. We will have a total of seven employees comprising of one manager, two full time supervisors and four part-time employees. As part of our franchise deal, Booster Juice Inc will offer continuous training and support to our employees. Marketing for the Booster Juice is done by the franchisee and franchisor. The franchisor will do large scale marketing for all of the franchisees, as per the royalty agreement. Our Booster Juice will concentrate on local advertising. We will be doing an aggressive advertising in the first year to create store......

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