Pick ‘n Pay Vs. the Hipster
Posted on October 14th, by spillly in Business, Coaching, Lifestyle, Mentoring, Motivation. No Comments
I was brought up supplying retailers and experienced a side of retail most consumers never see. I understand the huge margins that the corporate retailers add to their costs to cover their massive advertising, overheads, unionised wages and bottom line profits.
Consumers see the front of store: the isles, the cashiers and the TV adverts. They don’t know about rebate structures, poor supplier payment terms and returns to suppliers. It’s a horrible side of the supply chain. With this in mind I feel that what I’m about to tell you is as non-biased an opinion as I can muster up.
Every one of you reading this has in the past few months experienced a highly unsatisfactory level of service from one of these behemoth retail chains, regardless of what it was you were buying. Perhaps it was that the teller was rude or even worse, drifting off while you were conversing with them or maybe it was a long queue at peak time when there were not enough tellers to help. I have had similar experiences in the past few weeks.
In the early 2000’s a new movement started evolving that has since been called “The hipster Culture.” The hipster of today in South Africa is still a few years behind the New York City Hipster, with regards to how mainstream the sub-culture has become. Hipsters are progressive thinkers and independent of popular politics. They firmly go against the majority and ironically are becoming the majority. One of the stereotypical traits of Hipsterdom is the undying support for their local store, be it a coffee shop, a clothing store or an online organic vegetable market.
The hipster movement of South Africa is a very small niche crowd of 20 to 40 year olds who predominantly have a higher education and live in the ‘burbs but wish to have a small apartment in the city above a little flower and veggie store which hasn’t paid rent to the “man” yet.
I support where the hipsters chose to spend their cash.
Stores like Woolworths and Pick ‘n Pay have set the benchmark price on day-to-day products so high that the are allowing smaller, often family owned, traders to start a small store and be competitive on shelf prices. This reflects a time where the local Greek or Portuguese family in he 70’s, 80’ and early 90’s owned and operated the corner café or milk bar. These were systematically closed down by larger shopping centers, petrol stations with a 24-hour convenience store or the giant retailer.
This is changing.
Hipsters have a hipster code. Its something like “Support the independent trader or die trying.” They are right. I miss the days where the teller knew my name and my family history but more importantly I miss the days where trader in the store cared. Practically I am happy to pay the same price as Woolworths for my veggies (I’m paying it already) but get a smile when I leave. I would even be happy to take my change in Chappies bubble gum. I may sound like I’m being sentimental, and I am, but why should I stand in long queues for processed generic food when I can get a home-made alternative which is supporting a family and mother nature for the same price and with no queues?
I’m all for the homemade. I’m all for the independent. I’m all for the non-exploiting and I’m certainly all for non-shotgun mass media lie of the retailers’ adverts. Lets all become Hipsters and look after our local: local suppliers, local stores and local families. The New Hipster code should be “Local is lekker.”