Both highlight a potential long-term change in consumers’ behavior. The NYT article summarizes several reports indicating that Americans’ current increase in savings may outlast the recession and become permanent. The Pew Center’s report focuses on how increasing numbers of American shoppers are viewing items (microwaves, A/C, etc) previously seen as household necessities, but now are more likely to be seen as luxuries.
So what does this mean for our love affair with overconsumption? Which product categories will survive? What will happen to “mass upscale” brands like Coach, Burberry and Starbucks that depend on consumers’ willingness to spend a little extra for more status?