What Sells During an Economic Downturn

Latest posts by Kristin Potenti (see all)

Infomat recently published a very good article, What Sells During an Economic Downturn, from which I borrowed the title for this post.  It was nice to read an article about what is selling rather than how much is not selling. 

The author Jason Campbell, points out that people are slowly awakening.  There has been more of a focus on social issues including global warming, organic produce and fair trade and this is trickling over into the way people shop.  Consumers have not stopped shopping but the mass consumption has slowed and people are actually considering their purchases, they are putting more thought into what they are buying. 

Managers and owners of boutiques, brick and mortar as well as e-tailers, note that women are purchasing more daring items and focusing on quality.  Shopping is a form of escapism during hard times, it always has been and always will be.  Sarah Easley of e-tailer Kirna Zabete even noted that “price is less of an issue if the pieces are a perfect match for the client.”  I haven’t heard that statement in a while.  Of course, this article focuses on a wealthier demographic.  I’m sure those employed at GM and Ford or those working in the mortgage or construction industry are definitely concerned with price. 

However this article shows there is a segment of the population still spending money.  In fact Michael Mente, co-founder of RevolveClothing.com states that “many of the economic stresses—concerns over gas prices, the need to spend more time at the office—are bypassed by a hassle-free online shopping experience.”  Consequently Mr. Mente is not altering his buying strategy for Spring.  It will be interesting to see if online spending increases during this downturn. 

People that commented on the article agreed that special items, those that make the buyer feel as though they stand out are selling regardless of price.  What a nice ray of sunshine peaking through the clouds of doldrum.

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