Partnering Of Consumers And Entrepreneurs - PART 3 ISOEconomics / Isokratic Econommics
The store will respect and fear the power of the local consumer. If not, consumers could have the power through a local vote, to elect a store undesirable in their area; the consumers could then be able to withdraw the operating licence of the store in question, or impose heavy fines on them. It may now seem a bit on the extreme side. In the near future though, it could well be the norm, with information technology bringing people closer. Why should people have to pay higher prices, for the same goods in a local, regional or national area, than in other parts of the country, or in neighbouring countries?
In time we could see local or national consumers, have control of their purchasing powers. Local populations, could set up voluntary committees, or even paid consultant committees, who will have full access to the stores’ purchase invoices to inspect and verify the cost in relation to selling price and profit. A kind of similar organisation to the present day government appointed watchdog committees like the monopolies commission.
The stores will be rewarded, by being allowed to keep higher portions of their gains, brought about, by lower purchasing costs, which result through their own efficiency and effort. The rest, will have to be passed on to the consumer. Or at least a fair proportion of the mass buying power benefits will be passed down to the consumer in the form of lower prices. The merits for each case could be considered individually.
After all, the buying power the stores and especially the superstores accumulate, is only the buying power of the consumers; the store’s customers, combined buying power. In time we could see the consumers, exercising control of their combined buying power through consumer associations. At present the large retail organisations, thrive only on the combined buying power of their customers; the consuming volumes of the public, you and me.
3rd July 2002 23.33
1st October 2002 22.19
8th July 2002 22.1
Imagine a situation where if a store exceeds the set profit margins. The local or national consumer population, will have many weapons to use, against such stores. Two of the mains which are:
First, and most important, the local or national population, boycotts jointly all purchases, from such stores elected undesirable. Either way, the store will be strangled, if it tries to abuse its powers to gain exorbitant profits. The advantage for the stores, is that by operating within set guidelines, there would be guaranteed a profit, which would take into consideration their investments as well as the consumer’s interest. Similarly, the local population, will have powers to punish those organisations, which get involved, in price fixing or restrictive practices.
Secondly, to elect such a store or merchant undesirable for the local area. Once a store is elected undesirable, the local authority can withdraw the store’s licence to operate in that area.
In the future, independent consumer association groups, could grow stronger on both local, national and global levels. An example of the consumer boycott power, is the new car sales in the UK. New car prices in 2000/2001, were as much as 90% higher, than for the same cars in other European countries. Even for cars manufactured in the UK.
After the car manufacturers, refused the consumer’s calls to lower the prices of new cars in the UK, the Which Consumer Association, called for a boycott of new car purchases. The results shook the industry. A couple of manufacturers, who reduced their prices, saw sales increase by 30% to 40%, whilst the rest, saw new car sales go flat. Sale figures got worse and worse, as the word spread around. Eventually even the government stepped in through the department of Trade and Industry with specific guidance actions to the car manufacturers. The prices continued to fall.
There are plenty of examples of restrictive practices; such as when a handful of established superstores in the UK, blackmailed the cereal suppliers, that they will stop buying from them, if the cereal supplier, continued selling their products to a German store company opening up shop in England. The reason was because the German stores were selling the same brand products at prices up to 50% lower, than the prices the established stores in England were selling. A classic example of exorbitant prices of course.
8th July 2002 23.27