Of course, many of the descriptions above are stereotypes that don’t apply to all the citizens of the countries mentioned. The Great Region is a melting pot of varied cultures, starting with the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the population of which boasts nationals from more than 170 different states!
Moreover, the financial crisis has triggered a change in consumer patterns, especially in the most affected social classes. In Southern European countries, a large section of the population has lost its purchasing power and has had to adjust its spending patterns. In response to the financial crisis, Italians are trying by all means to reduce their expenses, including delayed purchases, paying a lot of attention to prices and increased second-hand shopping. The Portuguese have radically changed their purchasing habits by reducing their consumption, focusing their attention on pricing and switching from alternative purchases (second-hand and online shopping, etc.) to the sharing and exchanging of goods and services. Economic constraints have also pushed Spanish households to modify their consumption behaviour, boosting the resale of goods as well as online shops and supermarkets.
On the other hand, in Central and Eastern European countries where future economic prospects are better, the middle class is spending more time shopping. Thanks to an increase in purchasing power, pleasure and indulgence have become considerable factors in their consumption patterns.