For better or for worse the UK is a very class conscious society. I’m not commenting on the degree of social mobility that exists or whether class consciousness is a good or bad thing. I’m merely stating that everyone appears to be aware of the existence of a class structure within the society. One of upsides to this class based society is that the supply chain is developed to the extent that products can be purchased which fit all budgets.
I’ve not found in Latvia that the supply chain is as well developed. There is plethora of retail outlets catering for the super rich and a similar large number of catering for lower income shoppers were the quality of product on sale is not designed for longevity. This situation has become increasingly apparent during my brief time here, but the situation has become glaring obvious as we have tried to buy a new kitchen. We have found kitchens we like, but they are either way out of my budget or poor quality. It seems that due to low labour costs in Latvia, having a kitchen made for us might be the best solution.
So to the title of my blog. Where are the Latvian middle classes? If they exist then where do they shop? If they don’t exist then there are potential problems for Latvian society, because any society where there is a disproportionate division of a country’s wealth has the potential for civil unrest.
Now my question might have arisen because I just don’t know where to shop. Or it might be that the Latvian middle classes are such a small group that it is uneconomical to provide a supply chain for them. Could it be that all the people I’ve heard about who go shopping to Ikea in Lithuania and Poland are the middle classes. I’d love to hear from anyone who has had similar problems or if you think my logic is half baked.