Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Would you like some wine with that weak economy?


wine1Check out the latest poll on affluent consumers’ spending habits.

Affluent consumers around the world may be worried about the economy, but they are still spending on items they value most: food, wine and dining out, according to a study released by HSBC Global Pulse.

Seventy-two percent of those polled said the amount of wine they drank had not changed in the past year, while 67 percent said their spending on wine was unchanged, HSBC said.

Meanwhile, 73 percent still dine out nearly once a week and 39 percent still eat at restaurants at least three times a week, according to the study.

Of those polled, 80 percent have household income above $100,000 and 19 percent are above $250,000, according to HSBC. Fifty-seven percent are college grads and 43 percent have post-graduate degrees.

Driving far for deals despite high gas prices


Fred Katayama visits a Wal-mart just outside New York City to see how consumers socked with high gas prices and a sputtering economy are changing the way they shop. His full report hits the website on Friday. It’s part of a Reuters multimedia presentation in text, video and pictures.