Buy cheap, buy twice?

The nation’s biggest low-price retailer, Primark, announced that it had seen a “noticeable slowdown” in demand since January.

The news comes at the same time of year when, in 2010, Primark’s 8% sales increase was hitting headlines.

The Guardian reported that this drop in demand shows a “tanking” in consumer spending, due to the VAT increase and struggling retail sector.

But what if it also represents a change in fashion lovers’ attitudes? Perhaps the love-affair with £2 t-shirts and £8 jeans is wearing thin. Are shoppers instead turning to more expensive retailers such as Oasis and Topshop?


Are consumers tiring of Primark's low priced clothes? Photo: Anneka James

The Linc asked shoppers on the street of Lincoln whether they choose to buy cheap or spend wisely on fewer, more expensive key pieces.

Emily Cousins, an 18-year-old student, sees the benefits of buying cheap items and enjoys the flexibility of having a disposable wardrobe. She says: “I like having designer stuff but its having the money to buy it, so I still shop a lot at Primark, because it’s stuff you can throw away.”

However, Amy Cunningham, 17, opts for more expensive items that are usually longer-lasting.

“I like the designer stuff because I feel better in it, and I know that its well made whereas in Primark it’s not really.”

Laura Maplethorpe, echoes the biggest appeal of stores such as Primark, that “you can buy loads” of things rather than having to choose carefully about what pieces you invest in.

In the end, it is an individual choice whether you choose quality or quantity, and with such a vast high-street range, it will continue to be a dilemma that even the savviest of shoppers will struggle with.

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