A quick search on Amazon.com showed lipsticks varying in price from $2.25 to $52. In the beer category, a 12-pack of something a la Miller Lite could be $9.99 or less.
So, there it is: instant gratification for $12.25.
Throw in a Netflix movie (as little as $5.95 a month) and some microwave popcorn (usually less than $1 a pack) and you’re up to $19.20.
However, will this make us as happy as buying an expensive pair of shoes or sipping cocktails at a swanky bar?
“Shopping is pleasurable. There’s no doubt about that,” says Kit Yarrow, professor of psychology and business at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. “And that’s not American. It’s cross-cultural and across time. Shopping gives us a boost.”
Now that we don’t get the boost?
“We’ll get used to it, and I think something good will come out of it in the end,” says Ms. Yarrow, the chairwoman of her department. “It’s hard to talk about the bright spots when so many people are hurting, but maybe this will allow us to become more appreciative of what we do get.”
It also may help us lower our ever-escalating standards on beauty and fashion.
“And that can only be healthy,” Ms. Yarrow says. “Maybe get some department-store nail polish instead of a pedicure; and there’s nothing wrong with getting your fashion at H&M.”
While times are tough, though, we’re not facing the Great Depression, Ms. Mogelonsky says. There are no food shortages or gas rationing.
“It’s all about putting things in perspective,” Ms. Mogelonsky says. “You have to figure out what is your personal recession. What are you willing to bear?”
Some might be willing to give up the Godiva chocolate, but not the L’Oreal lipstick. Others might give up the brand-name and organic groceries but not a favored facial product.
Most of us, though, are making adjustments somewhere, somehow, Ms. Mogelonsky says.
In the end, we won’t have the full story on 2008 until after the all-important holiday season - in the liquor industry, for example, about a third of the year’s sales happen in November and December.
Ms. Zhang predicts that discount retailers such as TJ Maxx and Marshalls will do very well.View Entire Story
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