The hottest date at the global retail real estate conference that starts Sunday in Las Vegas is Uniqlo.
That’s because Uniqlo is one of the three “big hitters” in retail right now, says Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of Douglas Elliman Real Estate’s retail group, along with Sweden-based chain H&M and British brand Topshop. That has dozens of mall executives trying to get a meeting with the expanding Japan-based low-price clothing retailer, she says.
Abby Armbruster, 25, says she would pay extra for fair trade clothing, but it’s not a factor in her choices. “I’m sad to say that I don’t pay attention to where my clothes are made,” says Armbruster of Wooster, Ohio. ” I look at it just out of curiosity, but it doesn’t affect whether I … purchase the clothing or not.”
That’s a common reaction among consumers, says Kit Yarrow, a consumer psychologist and marketing professor at Golden Gate University. Many consumers may be troubled by news accounts of unsafe factory conditions. But they regularly dismiss them, along with other things, like credit card debt, that argue against purchases.
“Denial is a pretty powerful thing if something is beautiful and you really want it,” says Yarrow.
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