Dynamics of the downturn: a report from the Future Foundation’s “Charts of Fire” Changing Lives event

Carlos Grande

Price comparison, category switching and “social” online shopping could all increase in the downturn as consumers reappraise routine behaviour and choices.  

This theme connected the four presentations at the Future Foundation “Changing Lives” event in December 2008 which looked through a recession-tinged lens at prospects for the UK economy, consumer attitudes, technology take-up and eco-consumption.

Millions of Britons will probably sail untroubled through the downturn in terms of their personal wealth, according to this analysis. However a prevailing slump “mindset” - we were told a recession can be “psychologically national even if it is economically marginal” - will encourage most groups to re-evaluate their habits to some degree and will force brands to respond, especially on pricing.