'Stingy is cool' era ending in Germany- even service is getting better

25th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

25 October 2004 HAMBURG - German consumers are beginning again to be more interested in quality rather than cost when making purchases in what market researchers see as a sign of a tentative upturn in the economy.More than 80 percent of those polled in a survey say they now look primarily at the quality of a product in a figure markedly up from a similar poll earlier this year.Business consultant Marketing Corporation says the poll chimes with market observations that the massive boom of discount providers

25 October 2004

HAMBURG - German consumers are beginning again to be more interested in quality rather than cost when making purchases in what market researchers see as a sign of a tentative upturn in the economy.

More than 80 percent of those polled in a survey say they now look primarily at the quality of a product in a figure markedly up from a similar poll earlier this year.

Business consultant Marketing Corporation says the poll chimes with market observations that the massive boom of discount providers and dumping prices may have peaked.

The firm says it appears that fewer shoppers are now looking first at a product‘s price or seeking out bargains before buying.

It could mean the end of an era which has been dubbed "Geiz ist geil", meaning roughly "it‘s cool to be stingy".

What began as a clever advertising slogan had turned into a way of life for many people amid high unemployment and a stagnating economy, but critics had questioned whether the new German miserliness was putting an unnecessary brake on growth.

According to Marketing Corporation, "the ‘Geiz ist geil‘ era is now nearing its end". Manfred Niedner, head of the Bad Homburg- based firm, said its survey was a further sign of more consumer confidence in a recovery.

The poll of 1,000 Germans showed 83 percent now looked primarily at a product‘s quality when making a purchase, with only 17 percent giving the price as the main criterion.

In a similar poll in spring, only 51 percent put quality first against 49 percent naming the price as more important.

However, Germany is still lagging behind on the quality of customer service, the survey showed.

A total of 58 percent said they had been recently poorly or impolitely served at a shop or business, and 43 percent said they felt the quality of service had deteriorated in the last six months against only 10 percent who had noticed an improvement.

On a scale of 1 to 6, with 1 the best mark, customer service was given an average mark of 3.38, slightly better than six months ago.

However, Niedner described the customer assessment of service in Germany as "disastrous".

"This poor assessment continues to be the price that many firms are paying for having offloaded their difficulties onto the backs of the customers over the past few years," he said.

DPA

Subject: German news

0 Comments To This Article