School project about shopping in the USA (...seriously)

Barbora

Member
Aug 23, 2010
1,623
4
Hi everyone,
me and my friends have a project to write for school about USA and I'm writing about shopping in the USA. I so far wrote about the huge department stores in NY (such as Barney's,Macy's,Bergdorf Goodman...) and about American designers such as Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein...but, knowing the never meeting expectations of my teacher, I know this won't be enough. Does anyone have any idea as to what I can write about? What stores,cities,designers are simply American? Anything will do, please, I'm lost.
Thank you!:shrugs:
 

Sabine

O.G.
Apr 12, 2006
2,281
3
35
The Netherlands
I am not American but maybe you can talk about all the sales and deals, coupons that we don't have in Europe here. (where are you located?) Or talk about the debts lots of Americans have because of credit cards
 

DC-Cutie

O.G.
Oct 19, 2006
38,997
7,719
in the store....
I agree talking about the high debt in American because of excessive spending and mismanagement of money

Also, how about the rate that teens spend money in retail - it's really, really high.
 

MACsarah

BB+leather
O.G.
Sep 13, 2008
7,683
1
one word: outlets (I don't think those are in Europe as much as in the US, but maybe I'm looking at the wrong places).

Tourists love it, locals love it.

There's also america's obsession with abercrombie, but thats another topic, I think..
 
Jun 26, 2007
2,027
7
My mom isn't American and the one thing she is always shocked about when it comes to American shopping is how there is always a ridiculous stampede of people when there is a sale. Things like how people go CRAZY at "buy one get one free" sales, or wait outside a store at 12 midnight until it opens in the morning for some new product to come out...
 

KikiLovesBags

Member
Jan 2, 2010
89
0
How about something timely and shopping related Black Friday and how people get up super early for good deals?
 

Pinkdancer

Want. Want. Want.
Jun 24, 2006
1,063
2
East Coast
These are all excellent ideas. I think talking about credit cards/debt would be the most interesting. Or maybe just about the American culture of consumerism in general.
 

shoeangel

Member
Aug 12, 2006
1,028
1
Seattle
1. 99% of what American shoppers purchase is not manufactured in the US but rather overseas, mostly China.
2. Consumer credit card debt. Americans can get credit regardless of whether they have the means to pay the debt back.
3. American shoppers expect choice...having 10 of everything to choose from...which is why our stores are so big.
4. American shoppers expect to touch, smell, taste, try-on clothes before they purchase.
 

Vintage Leather

Bag Lady
O.G.
Jan 30, 2007
6,200
2,258
Arête Cottage
Shopping in America is a Huge topic! It has permiated almost every aspect of our lives. You can subdivide the topic into: shopping as recreation, types of shopping, or ways of shopping and still get a doctoral thesis in Economics out of the topics!

I'm assuming that you are writing about Fashion shopping. Read Teri Agins "The End of Fashion" and "How Luxury Lost it's Luster" for basic background information.
The main types of stores that sell clothing are:
Discount stores: Target, Walmart. Stores that sell a wide range of product at cheap prices.
Fast fashion: mostly imports from Europe, Zara and H&M are making strong inroads in the US. Like discount stores, these shops sell cheap, badly made trendy clothing for a season.
Department stores: Macys, Filenes, Dillards, Nordstroms - mid label clothing that is affordable, but intended to last a few seasons. Cute and current styles - reasonable quality.
High end department stores - Bergdorf Goodman, Nieman Marcus - lie regular department stores, but more expensive brands
Boutiques - luxury experience shopping - limited brands, superb service. Like having a personal shopper. Ikrams in Chicago is one example.
Designer boutiques - only one label available. Often an import brand.
Online shopping - net-a-porter - revolutionizing fashion for the 20-somethings.

Shopping is part theater, part social occasion, part personal expression
 
Jun 26, 2007
2,027
7
I'm assuming that you are writing about Fashion shopping. Read Teri Agins "The End of Fashion" and "How Luxury Lost it's Luster" for basic
Excellent idea! I've only read How Luxury Lost It's Luster and it was soo informative! I used it myself for a school project on consumerism/fashion industry.
 

Barbora

Member
Aug 23, 2010
1,623
4
Wow, thank you for your amazing ideas and suggestions. I love the one about credit cards/debts, but I don't have enough room to write about that. But I love the idea about writing about Black Friday, since we don't have anything like that here. Is there any other event like Black Friday? And I'm also gonna mention Target and Walmart, I think that's what she is looking for :/ Thank you!!
 

angelnyc89

Member
Jul 1, 2009
6,194
4
CyberMonday (which is today) and like JC said, we wait outside a day or two before a product comes out (ex: iphone 4, ipad, etc) which is nuts and I am American :P. I am assuming you came to NYC, and us New Yorkers don't understand why tourists are so intrigued by Time Square (theres nothing there, besides lights, huge billboards, and small stores that sell "I LOVE NY" t-shirts lol I think if you go through the threads in General Shopping, Deals and Steals, etc you should have an idea of "American Shopping" Have fun! I guess you should also make a few purchases for this "American Shopping" experience! :P
 

juneping

couch potato-ing
O.G.
Jun 11, 2007
17,801
909
NYC
I agree talking about the high debt in American because of excessive spending and mismanagement of money

Also, how about the rate that teens spend money in retail - it's really, really high.
i was thinking along the same line as well. it's a huge topic and not sure which direction you are leaning toward.
as my experience, HK has a lot of malls and all kinds of name brands...but it's not as common as in the US that the high end items are out of stock so quickly. the SA at RO of HK told me many customers went to her store to buy jackets b/c they couldn't find any in the US. i think that speaks volume.
 

Laurie8504

chocolate...where?
O.G.
Sep 10, 2007
2,898
7
US
Wow, thank you for your amazing ideas and suggestions. I love the one about credit cards/debts, but I don't have enough room to write about that. But I love the idea about writing about Black Friday, since we don't have anything like that here. Is there any other event like Black Friday? And I'm also gonna mention Target and Walmart, I think that's what she is looking for :/ Thank you!!
What a fun project, I would have loved to write about shopping in school!

To my knowledge, there is nothing like Black Friday. I don't really count Cyber Monday because you dont even have to leave your house for that. Black Friday always has a great amount of build-up in the news, and it actually serves as a sort of predictor for how the Christmas shopping season will pan out for stores. So much of their sales comes from just this season, many of them depend on it.

Also, there's the whole "she punched me out over a tickle-me-elmo" aspect. People go crazy! People get injured! It's ridiculous. I was watching CNN yesterday and they were talking about how violence/craziness/etc has gotten worse and worse.

Here are some news links from this year's black friday:
Retail Sales Up Slightly
Black Friday Trampling at Target
Retailers Pleased with BF Sales
Wisconsin Woman Arrested For Gun Threat In Toys R Us Black Friday Line
Black Friday-Cyber Monday Debrief: 2010 Beat 2009
And here's the thing I was watching on CNN: What's Happened to Us?
 

la miss

parigote
May 4, 2007
4,233
3
Maybe you could write about flash sales. I'm not sure if they have this in other countries but I discovered them in the US and now I am hooked!