When it comes to discretionary spending, merchants have it tough. The price of everyday items like new clothing, sporting equipment and electronics can be mind-boggling: How much would a product actually cost if you could only afford to buy once?
Mastermind & Crew, a London-based shoe-repair company, has asked Londoners to share their cash-only Christmas tree purchases. Their search for Londoners’ reluctance to spend and the resulting questions that arose from the experiment are now a series of Facebook videos produced by Kantar TNS.
In the video above, Watch Magazine Producer and editor Dee Matteson visits Sidewalk Christmas Tree vendor Sunny who knows it’s real hard-cash Christmas shopping. Like some typical London commuters who confront this daily struggle, Sunny seems to have grown immune to modern-day scarcity and to be just happy to be able to afford to spend Christmas with his family once again, no matter how much Christmas tree price escalates. And clearly, Christmas tree vendors are doing a roaring business.
Here are some of the questions Sidewalk Christmas Tree vendor Sunny has to face. Is Christmas tree price too expensive or is it justified, when the best deals are always at auction, etc.
What this fascinating experiment shows is that there is no shortage of people willing to pay a premium for the privilege of ponying up £15 for their Christmas tree. Also, no one seems really bothered about the fact that 70 percent of sales come from online platforms. Simply because they are now on the internet does not mean that they are less happy, and it certainly does not mean that they are less cost-conscious.
A Sidewalk Christmas Tree Vendor and When So Many Things Are Priced Per Dollar
Instead, what this experiment suggests is that many people still find it difficult to spend their hard-earned cash in the last hour of December. “How much Christmas tree cost $1.16. How much Christmas tree cost $1.26,” Sunny responds. After he amasses the pile of pre-Christmas junk in his hut, he asks that we keep it.
One day before the festive season, the real value of Christmas trees will be revealed: nothing. I believe it is a good moment to remind the millions of other consumers out there that the holy trinity of bargain, devaluation and inflation are still in full swing around the world.