Advertising creates an ideal and simultaneously an end-less desire to fulfill that ideal. It suggests happiness is for sale and warns you what you will be missing, if you ignore it. However, the purchase of the product does not live up to this promise. At best, we experience a momentary instant gratification that usually has nothing to do with the original promise anymore. Unsatisfied we look further and are tempted yet again.

Retailers and manufacturers have to participate in this self-created ‘rat-race’ too, because the adage of more and better also applies to them. They are compelled to vie for the attention and trust of consumers, while the trust of the consumer, which stood at -7 at the end of 2014, - is still as fragile as the recovery of the Dutch economy.

Stores must try their utmost to make a difference. Their strategy is constantly changing in order to stay ahead of the competition. Every time new concepts are devised to lure shoppers. Shops acknowledge the importance of image branding and their own identities. The decisions we, as consumers, make, are based on it. The stores where you like to shop, or rather the ones that lure you into shopping there, titillate your free impulse to get into their shop above all others. A few steps into the store, the facade reveals itself. The image you felt attracted to is nothing but a sales strategy. They are merely warehouses, waiting to be emptied.

Joppe Put, January 2015

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