Modes of goods acquisition in deprived neighbourhoods

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The aim of this paper is to show that the extent to which British consumers acquire their goods new through formal retail outlets is not as all-pervasive as some might believe. Analysing how 200 households in relatively deprived areas of Southampton last acquired six goods (furniture, DIY tools, clothes, fridge, cooker and car), it finds that a large proportion of goods were acquired either informally and/or second-hand, especially amongst households excluded from the formal labour market, due to their financial circumstances. Given this reliance on informal and second-hand modes of goods acquisition, it concludes that public policy should seek to develop initiatives for the distribution of such goods, especially electrical goods, in a more regulated environment. Without such developments, the socially excluded will remain dependent on modes of acquisition in which there is little or no regulation of the quality of the products.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2000

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