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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.
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Keywords: CONSUMER CHOICE; INFORMAL SECTOR; SECOND-HAND GOODS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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