Disney Rollergirl writes: Will WAGs save the economy?
Last week I took my mum to Westfield. It was my third time and I didn't think I was the shopping centre type, yet somehow it's growing on me.
While mum stocked up on cushions at Next, I browsed The Village, the 'posh bit' where Tiffany bling, Versace handbags and a chi-chi champagne bar vie for customers' attention. A Louis Vuitton store was being primped as it prepared to open 48 hours later. Prada was quiet but Joseph was abuzz with mums and daughters snapping up monochrome knits and tailored trousers as if their tans depended on it.
In Larizia, a multi-label boutique, there were shoes by Balenciaga, Chloe and Marc by Marc Jacobs alongside Sonia by Sonia Rykiel knits. What's stocked in these stores are the desirable labels but not the most avant-garde pieces, yet they have just enough edge to be noticeable. Taking it all in I found myself thinking, 'my sister would love it here!'
I don't think she'd mind me saying this but my sister is a bit of a WAG at heart. Meaning, she loves her hair straighteners, she likes a designer label and in a nut-shell, she's what marketing people call 'aspirational'. And looking at Westfield with her eyes, I saw it as a mecca for those who aspire to the good life. My sister can't afford an entire wardrobe of Miu Miu or Burberry, but she'd certainly buy the bag or wallet - recession or no recession. The Westfield environment lends itself perfectly to aspirational shoppers. It's clean, it's new, it's got variety and it's low on snobby attitude. Well it can't afford to be snobby because it wants, nay needs to make money. While other shoppers tighten their purse-strings or put non-essential shopping on hold indefinitely, the aspirational customer is still prepared to spend on looking the part. At Westfield and in stores all over the country it might be those much-ridiculed WAGs who give the retail industry the lift it needs.