Is Britain reaching peak stuff? The Reasoning Behind the Fall in Retail Sales?

By Swindon Link - 28 January 2019

Expert Voices

Peak stuff is a term used to define products or stock that have reached their maximum marketability and appeal, and thereby reached a ceiling of usefulness for the company selling them.

This is a very real issue that Britain is facing, as last Christmas was reported to be one of the worst festive periods for retailers in a decade, according to BRC.

Of course, there are other factors to consider behind the waning performance of retailers, such as online competition. Still, this should all feed back into the retailer’s performances eventually, right? Well, peak stuff is certainly a threat, but what’s causing it?

Consequently, it’s worth asking the question; is Britain reaching peak stuff the reasoning behind the fall of retail sales?

Tighter Spending

As Brexit looms nearer, and the growing likelihood of a no deal Brexit at that, wallets stay shut. Even businesses are being more careful with their finances, enlisting expert help from firms like Liberis so that they can stay funded and afloat. Whether someone voted leave or remain, few people would deny that there is a sense of fear in the air considering Brexit, and everyone across the UK is living under its shadow.

When people feel safe, they spend, it’s really that simple. Instead, a culture is being ushered into the UK of playing it safe for survival. After all, it’s hardly surprising – doom and gloom is the word of the day across social media and the mainstream news channels, and the last thing people will do is buy something from a retailer that they absolutely do not need. Unfortunately, this constitutes as most of the products out there on the market today!

Environmentally Conscious

Of course, it’s not only the political climate that’s changing – the actual climate is too! These days, consumers are more acutely aware of how much each product is damaging the environment. Consequently, they’re more likely to stay away from companies who don’t have greener policies, or who are notorious for their dangerous disposals of plastics, for example.

When people spend, they want to feel as if they’re not only benefitting themselves in modern times. Many businesses will struggle to attract these kinds of customers, and they’re growing in number too. Consumers want to counter a lot of the harmful practices that damage the environment, and if a firm is seen to be engaging with those practices, their products will be written off entirely 

Experiences Over Products

In the age of social media, it’s no secret that people like to show off their lifestyles. There’s a world of adventure out there, and when it can be advertised online to friends, family and indeed the whole world, those once in a lifetime opportunities become what people save up for. It’s more to do with building an exciting life, an event that can be remembered forever.

Products, in a sense, don’t offer this. Unless they’re cameras to share these experiences, then people are finding those one-off quick buys less and less appealing. More people today want experiences, not products. This is undoubtedly one of the factors that’s contributing to this new age of ‘peak stuff’ in retailers – people simply don’t want them.

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