Pam Danziger's latest book, Shopping, is packed with strategies retailers can use to achieve success in a tight retail market
Last week Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke went to Capitol Hill and gave a guarded assessment of the economy. He forecast "sluggish growth" for the next several months. This means a more competitive market for the nation's retailers, as shoppers hold back from making discretionary purchases -- buying things they don't really need -- in favor of spending their money only for practical, needs-based purchases.
The pain of reduced discretionary spending is already being felt in the luxury sector where American luxury consumers cut their spending on luxury goods and services more than 20 percent from the first half of 2007 to the second, according to the latest survey of affluent consumer spending by Unity Marketing.