Finance tips

The Cultural Reset in Action: Consumer Spending Has Changed

By  | 
Pictured: A Vintage Top Value Price Sign, this is the new shopping metric

Good morning readers! I just came across an interesting report on consumer spending in the midst of this recession that I want to share with all of you. Management One, a Specialty Retail Blog just published an interesting article about how consumer buying trends have changed, and for the better. They call it a consumer retrenchment. I call it a collective reset of the “buying button.” Recently, Visa reported that consumers are now using debit cards more than credit cards. And the study goes on to note, that frugal is now in “vogue.” They even call the new age fashionista the recessionista.

What’s going on is unprecedented, at least in my experience,” said Allen Questrom, former chief executive officer of J.C. Penney Co. Inc., Federated, Barneys New York and Neiman Marcus Inc.

So what’s going on dear readers? We all just got a little wiser and started exercising the power of the purse. Congratulations. We are shopping smarter. The new differentiator is value along with the best price. This is something I keep harkening back to when I report on sales here on the blog. Let’s face it–the sales are everywhere now. When I started this blog, some major retailers were just beginning to drop prices down to more affordable levels. Now, the sales are more common and rolling out on a regular basis. So, it’s not enough for me to report on just the sales. I’m also trying to give you a heads-up on where the best value for price is, sale or no.

In my humble opinion, some fashion retailers that do provide value for price are H&M, Zara, Loehmann’s,Norma Kamali for Walmart , good designers on sale and thrift/consignment stores. More of us are going out thrift shopping than ever before. On my last trip to the Canoga Park Salvation Army, I actually saw a limo in the parking lot.

So keep up the good work savvy shoppers. Remember, you don’t have to swing at the first pitch, er price tag 🙂

PS–if you have a Circuit City in your area, check out their recent sales. They have some unprecedented buys on laptops. Over the weekend, some of the California based stores were even selling off iPods for 50% off the retail price.

Pss–The Barney’s New York sale has begun. From 6/29 to 7/08/2009.
Barneys New York has taken an extra 25% off already reduced prices on selected clothing, shoes, and accessories for men, women, and children, plus stuff for the home. The sale is in store as well as online.


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.


  1. allison

    June 30, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    In regards to Circuit City, DO NOT buy gift certificates there because they are going out of business!

  2. MH

    July 2, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Yes, DO NOT get gift certs from Circuit. I have never recommended that.