Who Are the Winners and Losers of a Consumer Society

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Essay Plan

Introduction

General statement on the question, who are the winners and losers of a consumer society?

Main body

Who are the winners in a consumer society?
Tesco’s are they a major player?
How supermarkets use their power of seduction.
Out of town shopping, how influenced are we?
Power – supermarket wars
Cheap labour
Who are the losers in a consumer society?
The seduced and repressed.

Conclusion

Bibliography & Referencing

Self Reflection

Who are the winners and losers in a consumer society?

Who are the winners and losers in a consumer society? We could ask what is defined as such. We can see it is about what people do for a living and how they live, but there is a divide, it shows how the rich and the poor consumers are split as society clearly favours those with money, opposed to those who have little. We will see how this can play a major role in how we consume, shop and work.

To be a winner in a consumer society, one has to be affluent according to John Allen (2009). He argues that Tesco a large supermarket chain are the winners and says they are the major player in consumer society and Tesco shape the way we shop and how we buy. Tesco’s are a powerful organisation; there are many towns in the UK that have a Tesco store close to where they live. Tesco have over the years drowned out the local corner shop by encouraging people to shop in mass. No longer are there days of nipping out to the local shop for a loaf of bread. Once in a store such as Tesco you are enticed into purchasing more than you need by seductive offers, and why you buy more than is needed. So Tesco’s are the winners in a consumer society, but we could argue that what Allen (2009) has said is only partially the truth. Tesco’s are only winners because they appeal to those who are more affluent. Many of their stores are placed in areas where there is less housing and thus makes it harder for those with little money to shop there. Vehicle owners would be more inclined to shop out of their district, rather than on the high street. Tesco is one of the four major supermarkets; we also have to consider Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrison’s, all of these stores are alike in how they influence the consumer and how they spend in store. The use of B.O.G.O.F’s (buy one get one free) for instance seduce you into purchasing items you would normally not purchase, this is a cunning way of getting a shopper to spend more than they really need to.

Power is a big word in Social Sciences, this can be used to describe how this can influence, control and dominate. We can see this in (ch.2, pg 59) that there is a price war between supermarkets and each store will keep a close eye on the opposition, Identical goods are sold in each of the supermarkets, but each have a varied price. We need to understand and look closely at how power is used and how the concept is utilised. Since the 1960’s there has been a rapid growth in supermarket chains. The smaller shops are now dwindling because of large superstores and out of town stores popping up. In the case of Tesco for example, more and more stores are opening and Tesco are buying more land to build these superstores, this is now known as “Tesco towns”. Supermarket power has been not so black and white with many rejections for planning permission based on the theory Tesco’s are taking over. It could be argued that most people would want a store closer to them, because they lack facilities nearby, but Tesco do build in more affluent areas. For example in Liverpool there are many smaller Tesco Metro stores dotted about the city centre in all proximity of a one mile radius of a large superstore. Tesco are basing their stores for the student market and those who work locally who need to shop after work.

We have to ask the real cost of low prices. Most of the supermarkets shape how and what they sell on a basis how cheaply they can import, produce and buy stock....
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