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Now unlike most people I didn’t enjoy the film The Devil Wears Prada, but then after more than a decade in the PR industry I think I can be forgiven as, let’s face it, sometimes a storyline can be a little too close for comfort.

However thinking about it recently I realised just how much the industry has changed. There was a time when, I think it’s fair to say, you were expected to wear ‘this seasons’ fashions and to shop at any one of a number of leading high street retailers – but made sure you chose the top end.

So it came as a pleasant surprise recently when at a marketing industry networking meeting I overheard one woman ask another where her dress was from, only to receive the reply ‘Matalan – and it was a bargain!’ I wasn’t sure what reaction she would receive but again was slightly taken a back to hear a conversation ensue about the benefits to shopping in discount stores.

It would seem that people prefer to watch their wallets now-a-days, irrelevant of the industry they work in, and are opting to pick up what purchases they can from discounters before accessorising with higher end items, and why not? I think it’s a great idea and with the high street stores watching and matching fashion lines so closely it makes perfect sense.

So what about the retailers? Open Communications is responsible for the PR for The Ridings Shopping Centre in Wakefield and there have been lots of comments about what will happen when Trinity Walk opens, which is scheduled in the next few months.

Interestingly Shopping Centre Manager, Barbara Winston, is calm about it and believes that increased footfall to the city will mean better business for all and that actually the two sites complement each other with a Debenhams and Next to go hand in hand with Primark and TK Maxx, plus others. From what I’ve seen and experienced she’s absolutely right.

There must be some truth in the fact that people are migrating from top end stores to the bargain basements or why was the term Primarni ever created? For those who don’t know, when something is purchased from Primark it is often now referred to as Primarni in a bid to make it sounds a little more impressive.

We have also seamlessly integrated a random selection of names into our everyday lives without even realising – George, Florence and Fred are certainly a common reference within the Davies household.

It’s no secret that I have never really fit in to the expected mould that is a ‘PR girl’ but if this is the future then count me in. This season you will find me in the aisles of Primark, Matalan and TK Maxx bagging some bargains.

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