Here at Trend Bible, we’ve been talking about the importance of the experience for quite some time. We noticed a shift in consumer mindset at the beginning of the housing collapse in the USA in 2007, and since then we’ve been monitoring a new social mood which relies less on consuming (but not for ‘green’ reasons) and more on what experience a product can bring. This new shift has had some fundamental implications, most of which have been exagerated due to the recession, such as the activity of ‘shopping’ as a pastime is in decline, as we start to think about how else to spend our time. The challenge for retailers as we start to emerge from the recession is going to be encouraging people to go back to the shops, when they’ve been spending time learning new crafts, educating themselves, spending quality time with loved ones and even finding new hobbies. The rise in visitors to art galleries, museums and at farmers markets in the UK is evidence of this shift towards a change in leisure activities. See our Autumn Winter 2011 trend forecast for more in the effects of this social trend.