I know you were all hoping for a holiday shopping prediction but instead, I thought I would lighten things up with a little Grinch-mas cheer. Here are the top 10 retail and consumer trends that I would like to see disappear in 2017:
10. Over-hopped beer
Hey, I like beer — I even used to brew it myself at home — but the excessive hoppiness in some craft brews has gone too far. The monks in Belgium put it in to make beer less sweet, not to dominate the taste, so here’s hoping some sanity returns to brewing in 2017.
9. Small portions, big prices at restaurants
Yes, food price inflation, real estate costs and a weak Canadian dollar all hurt us, but $20 for average-tasting fish and a few chips? I’m not sure when Canadian restaurants started providing such poor value for money. Perhaps I need to invest in the near oligopolistic players that run them – the profit has got be going somewhere.
8. Overly sexualized waitress uniforms
While we’re on the topic of restaurants… which greasy restaurant owners (you know who you are) decided that regular, family-type restaurants had to have staff looking like they work at a “gentlemen’s club”? It’s almost 2017 – aren’t we better than this?
7. Pumpkin Spice anything
With Hallowe’en still in the rearview mirror, I wish that pumpkin products would go back to just being pumpkins, not coffee, donuts, beer, bread and everything else under the sun.
6. Space-age washers and dryers
Consumer product companies love to take mundane corners of our lives and make them fashionable. We apparently now need machines as complex (and nearly as big) as the space shuttle to wash our clothes. Maybe these companies should look at ways to make these machines smaller and use space and materials more efficiently – it worked in consumer electronics…
5. Mass market gluten-free foods
This is just another stupid food fad. There are people out there who are truly gluten-intolerant and need these foods. The rest of us should just go back to eating.
4. Grocery self-checkouts
Worst idea ever, especially for fruit and vegetables and other products without barcodes. Does anyone know the 4 digit code for Anjou pears? Of course you don’t know, because that’s the cashier’s job! If grocery stores want to keep these machines, maybe they should give me a discount for doing their (former) staff’s job.
3. Industrial-chic design
Oh, look! Another store/restaurant with subway tile, heavy wood tables and iron pipe legs with metal stools around it. Newsflash – factories never looked this cool. Let’s try something new, fun and original in store design in 2017.
2. Black leggings
There have to be other pants or skirt options out there. I’m sure I’ve seen them…
1. The “Man Bun”
No commentary needed. This just has to go.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone. Best wishes for a successful fourth quarter!