There’s quite a revolution going on today in the way that we spend our hard earned cash.
Gone are the days when we would rush to buy, at the shops or online, the latest so called ‘white goods’ such as washing machines, fridges, cookers and other large pieces of electrical household equipment.
Cheap imports have flooded the market place in recent years pushing down prices and making the products almost irresistible.
Now, though, it would seem we have had our fill of white goods and consumers are more concerned with enjoying ‘an experience’.
They are looking to spend their money on things like food and drink and other leisure activities.
Indeed, leisure is attracting one and a half times more discretionary spend than retail and the sector is growing twice as fast, while eating out is by far the most popular leisure activity with 85% of consumers spending in this area.
The switch in spending is borne out by our own informal online poll where we asked if readers would prefer to spend money on an ‘experience’ or on ‘items’ such as white goods and possessions; 76% opted for the experience.
And it’s this change in focus and lifestyle that has prompted Times Local Newspapers and its sister publication So Magazines to create a new digital publishing platform. It will be called theknow and is designed to help people across West Kent and the Weald make the most of their free time.
We recognise that locally there’s a high proportion of consumers who are cash rich and time poor and have a limited opportunity to keep in touch with what’s happening in and around their towns.
The new leisure site, that launches later this month, will help residents and visitors alike to get the best out of Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge – and beyond.
It’s been developed to give you useful and meaningful information on everything from food and drink, arts and culture, travel, life and style, gadgets and motoring.
Editorial Director Richard Moore said: “Launching a leisure site that also provides local news is a natural progression for us. It offers advertisers another unique media platform that’s complementary to print and enables us to provide readers with rolling information about what’s happening in their local world.
“Think of a sophisticated ‘what’s on’ where you can find out all you need to know about the places to eat, the best shows to see, family days out that you won’t want to miss, and that will give you a flavour of what to expect.
“We believe it will quickly become the leading online leisure site for West Kent and the Weald just as our newspapers and magazines have become an integral part of the community.”
This switch in focus by consumers is why this week you’ll also see some changes towards the back of this newspaper where we’re launching a new section called yourhome, that is full of ideas to provide you with the ‘inspiration for moving and improving’ when it comes to your property. That’s on top of our usual list of some of the best homes on the market.