by: Alain Thys
How will we be shopping fifteen years from now ? While it's always hard to make an exact prediction, Bain & Company have just made a good effort in trying to map the consumer for 2020.
In short, their bet is that we'll all become cross-over consumers. Regardless of which end of the - widening - income gap we reside, we will finally stop to fit into tidy consumer segments.
The person shopping at Wall-Mart or Aldi will also want clones of high-end designer products (like Wall-Mart is planning offer). The consumer who loves Prada and Armani will stock up his refrigerator at Wall-Mart. People who eat fastfood every day for lack of time will spend hours gourmet cooking on Saturday. Companies will therefore have to clearly choose one business model or the other: high-end experiences or discount value. Any route which is stuck in the middle is recipe for disaster. The only thought I have when reading all this is whether it is really the consumer that is changing, or that we're just - finally - starting to understand him for what he is ... just like us.