Fake designer goods have become big business in recent years thanks largely to that old problem of keeping up with the Joneses.

The clamour for the right look, from clothes to kitchen gadgets, fuelled by our celebrity-obsessed culture and aspirational society, comes at a price that few are ready, willing or able to pay.

We see a celeb placed anywhere from A-Z on the hot list (probably compiled by those wacky funsters at Heat magazine) endorse a product and we have to have it, but not necessarily at any price – unless you’re willing to max out a string of credit cards, obviously.

Little wonder that many are unwilling to pay top whack when they can get a fairly accurate cut-price fake.

But are we now witnessing a whole new trend?

The age of the fake designer discount voucher appears to be with us.

Gap’s problems suggest we now want the genuine article, rather than the fakery, although we’re still not prepared to pay designer label prices.

But it also points to a problem that our major retailers still appear to be struggling with – namely, the High Street is not as internet savvy as the customers they are trying to attract.

In the last 12 months or so we’ve seen some of our biggest retailers suffering because their customers are a lot more in tune with the opportunities that being on-line present.

Threshers famously fell foul of an on-line voucher scheme in the run up to last year’s festivities, whilst Hamleys was also bitten on the backside by a pre-Christmas internet promotion.

Lessons will have been learned by these two high-profile cases, but the experience of Littlewoods last month and now Gap suggests that retailers are still being caught out.

There are rich pickings to be had through the growth of online shopping, but thousands of internet savvy consumers are proving the rewards are not just limited to retailers.

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