What’s in now that the recession is in full stride: spending less in France, “anti-clubs” in New York City that are more akin to hanging out in someone’s basement as opposed to an over-the-top $400 bottle-service hip-hop video scene, and going to the mall to socialize and get some exercise—but not actually buy anything.
After rising nearly 3 percent annually in 2006 and 2007, French consumption has hit the brakes and is expected to be down about 3 percent this year, according to a WSJ story. The good life in France is shifting: People are shopping more in discount stores and eating (sacre bleu!) quick and cheap meals.
Velvet ropes are now about as cool as velvet V-necks. Business at Manhattan’s high-end clubs is down 20 to 40 percent in the last year, and in light of tough economic times, paying $400 for a bottle of premium liquor not only seems stupid but in poor taste. The NY Times decreed that “super fancy is out.” Replacing the snobby club is a trend toward low-key dives that serve groups mini-kegs to share and have crude plywood stalls in the bathrooms.
In another trend, people may be shopping less, but they’re not avoiding the mall scene entirely. Loads of people are using malls not as shopping centers but as community and fitness centers. They meet friends to socialize or walk laps, and there’s no admission charge or annual membership fee—so long as they don’t buy anything.