Chinese R&D

The middle of Somerset West is overrun with them - cheap Chinese/Korean-owned shops selling exactly the same low-price, low-quality goods all the way up the main road. They've taken over the annual Strawberry Festival: where it used to be loads of local hand-made and interesting things, it's now row after row of plastic mass-produced junk.

Walking past one of those shops today I had to wonder - who does their R&D for the Western market... and how? How do they decide what us shoppers want, and come to the conclusion that a plastic shopper bag with rainbows and eagles will actually SELL here? Or garish nailpolish that wears off quicker than you can put it on? Or certain clothes, shoes and underwear? Who decides what slogan to slap on a t-shirt, and how "gansta" to make a jacket?

I'd love to know. Along with "is there any melamine in that mascara I just bought?"!

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