Friday, August 28, 2009

child labor isn't the only way for global manufacturers to exploit the poor

In India, Levi's is offering jeans on the installment plan. There, the brand has achieved prom king status thanks in part to ads featuring Akshay Kumar (macho Bollywood film star). Its biggest aspirational base? Men from rural villages, who can't afford them. To "help", Levi's is encouraging customers to pay on installment. According to the front page of The Financial Times:
Under the scheme, customers will be able to pay for Levi's priced at Rs1,599 ($33) and above in three instalments. The move comes after a two-month experiment... where consumers offered the instalment option spent an average of 50 per cent more than normal.
Says Shumone Chatterjee, managing director of Levi Strauss India, "For guys in a village, a pair of Levi's is can immediately catapult you on a social level...It's about giving these guys stuff they couldn't otherwise own in one shot." Not to mention that handy 50% bump in cash outlay.


California Girl said...

am continually amazed and disappointed by the inventive ways manufacturers find to promote their products, no matter the ethics. Of course, ethics has nothing to do with it. (dope slap)

Mak said...

Um... 50% increase... that's pretty loansharkish, hence the moral dilemma tag