Home » Archive » Another note on boutiqu-ing

, written by Jeremy. Read the commentary.

I am in Paris – land of boutiques. It’s amazing to see hyper-stylish Parisians zipping in and out of tiny stores, purchasing one or two goods from each shop they enter. By the time they’re done, their arms are full, and they’ve been in and out of 10 to 15 stores.

But even more amazing – they know the vendors personally, ask about their children, ask for something they requested two days ago … This is the social market of Paris at work. This is distinctly different than the North American experience; at first glance it seems surprisingly inefficient. This is interesting because on many issues, simply as a result of deeper history, Europe is ahead of western countries. On the issue of consumerism they seem to be behind.

But, compare this to the modern, one-stop-shops like Walmart or Loblaws. Three things are immediately remarkable: long lines, gargantuan and poorly dressed people, and universally grumpy patrons.

In an earlier post I noted what may be an evolutionary regression from massive social orgs (like Walmart) to tribal orgs (like Sum). Maybe the clue is that the value of the transactions between people overwhelms the efficiencies of scale.

I’ll be looking into this further. Will keep it posted here.


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Mother Teresa nailed it when she said the greatest poverty is loneliness

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