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retail watch spending

People are making a list of what they want when they go shopping and sticking to it -- and that's likely to remain the way for some time.

Shoppers are spending longer in stores and justifying their purchases. It's part of a trend where consumers act more cautiously and buy less impulsively in shops, a leading advertising strategist has said.

Speaking to clients and agency suppliers, Rothco director Patrick Ronaldson labelled it the "I'll have the chicken" trend -- chicken is the most popular choice for restaurant diners, from patrons of coffee shops to Michelin star restaurants.

Diners don't always go for chicken first but they end up choosing it through a process of elimination. Mr Ronaldson said it was more about consumers "not wanting to get it wrong".


With disposable income harder to come by, shoppers are less willing to take risks. Brands like Guinness, Heinz Baked Beans and Bisto are thriving. Ocean cruises, where everything is laid on, are doing well. TV is no longer fragmented and mass audience shows like X Factor and the Late Late Show top the ratings.

Trust in the Catholic Church, politicians, big business and the banks has slumped -- it's not just happening in Ireland, it's a worldwide trend and it's affecting consumer behaviour.

Mr Ronaldson said he was not forecasting an economic upturn this year. But consumers are making a personal revival by being more resourceful. It shows in the number running marathons, taking up knitting, saving coupons and going to car boot sales.