Unplanned obsolescence: consumer’s attitudes and perceptions of lifestyle brands in Durban, South Africa

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Planned obsolescence has become a strategy adopted by large corporations, for products to be produced with surprisingly short useful life spans. These shorter than expected product life spans ensure that consumers make regular repeat purchases of their favorite items. The monopoly of obsolescence of products is no longer the producers’ prerogative and this by itself leads to unplanned obsolescence basically led by the consumers choice. This research study looks into consumer’s attitudes and perceptions of their favorite lifestyle brands. This is on the basis that less is known on unplanned obsolescence, which arises from the consumers conduct. This work also investigates why consumers replace products, even though these products are most often still seen as fully functional. This social constructivism study has adopted a quantitative approach through the use of self-administered questionnaires. The 300 participants of the study on which this article is based were selected from the Durban of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, and were chosen through stratified random sampling. The study was further cross generational, in order to examine how consumers attitudes change as they become older. It was found that despite knowing the truth relating to the phenomenon consumers were willing to remain loyal

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