Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Recession ushers in era of the savvy shopper, but will it last?


SAFRICA-INFLATIONThe indicators are there: people are saving more and they’re spending less.  The era of the savvy(er) shopper has officially arrived. But how long will it last?

Family financial guru Ellie Kay has been talking about smart shopping for years, publishing numerous books and maintaining a blog about how to shop smart. With the back-to-school shopping season running up against the recession, she’s been hearing a lot from her readers about how they’ve changed their buying habits.

“It’s not enough to run a sale, there has to be something extra that retailers are putting out there for the consumer to want to spend back-to-school dollars in their store,” she said. “That includes sales plus store coupons, or free gifts, or if they’re shopping online, they want free online shipping.”

Kay said it’s also not enough for retailers to have a value message anymore. With consumers surfing coupon websites like and doubling up on store coupons, she said retailers have to work extra hard to get consumer’s attention.