[FoRK] We've had our day...

Justin Mason jm
Tue Jul 5 13:28:51 PDT 2005

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Ken Meltsner writes:
> It's pretty clear, making gross generalizations, that Sao Paulo's
> buying classes look to Europe for style -- there's a Williams Sonoma
> clone called Spicy with an umlaut over the I filled with Swiss and
> German products -- and to the rest of the world for food, they look to
> the US for fast service and cheap stuff.
> So, that's our legacy: fast and cheap.  Not that there's anything
> wrong with that, but I would have loved to see a few Prairie or
> Craftsman pieces among the generic Scandinavian design-style furniture
> and Italian semi-industrial decor (very Milan, I think, although I've
> never been there),

Well, part of the blame may lie in the US companies themselves -- let's
take Apple, for example.  in my opinion, the Apple Store is a good example
of something that the US is excelling at, in terms of selling nice quality
gear to the buying classes from bricks and mortar stores.

However, compare the number of Apple stores worldwide, at
http://www.apple.com/retail/ --

   US: about 140
   Japan: 3
   UK: 2
   Canada: 1
   Ireland: 0

Clearly Apple, for one, don't see much need to operate bricks-and-mortar
outside the US.  I have no idea why.

BTW, I've been buying some iPods at US prices for Irish friends and
mailing them home, so there's no shortage of desire for these things.
However, the markup of prices -- $299/EUR248 vs EUR319, a 28% markup on
the online sites alone -- obviously isn't popular.

- --j.
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