Shoppers avoiding 'affluenza'

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The Independent Online

At the 2010 Licensing Expo for brand merchandising, 500 exhibitors and 7,000 brands were on display, June 8-10, with partnership deals made for products from apparel and homewares to publishing and games, such as adidas and Superman, "Man of Steel."

Within the "world's brand and property marketplace," another kind of transformation is taking place among consumers. In 2009, licensing revenue fell by 8.7 percent, particularly with the film, television and entertainment characters which comprise 46 percent of the business, according to LIMA, the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association.

Due to the economic recession, consumer spending was limited as regards non-essential products last year, so the future may improve with fewer but bigger campaigns.

The online blog for the trade show taking place in the US city of Las Vegas summarized the keynote presentation by Dan Stanek of Retail Forward, consultants for globalization brand strategy. Stanek addressed consumer trends and changing behavior, such as less browsing and more targeted shopping at specific stores.

Another major shift among consumers is toward simplifying rather than cluttering lives and people are shopping for less expensive alternatives. Overspending is perceived as similar to a disease - "affluenza," according to Stanek. More often, purchases are seen in terms of"what is good for the world" and moving "from the Me Generation to the Us Generation."