The Frugal Consumer: When Shoppers Lose the Urge to Splurge

It was only last summer that the Wall Street Journal was repeating the conventional wisdom that luxury items had not been affected by the recession. But once the financial crisis hit, that changed. “The recession is impacting affluent consumers just as hard as ordinary consumers,” says Pam Danziger of Unity Marketing, which tracks the luxury market. “It's hitting them where their wealth is, in their homes and their investments.” After years of conspicuous consumption, thrift is in. The luxury consumer hasn't disappeared, but she's thinking about things differently from before and is no longer on an “extended shopping spree,” Danziger says. “Luxury consumers used go out and buy a whole new outfit, with new jewelry and new shoes,” she explains. “Today that shopper is just buying one of those things.” Marketing experts offer the following advice to help retaile

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