Frugality is Taking Root, Have You Stopped Shopping?

We’ve previously discussed the coming trend of a downsizing America, and now evidence increasingly suggests that the trend has landed and is taking root. Examples range from Procter & Gamble releasing a discounted Tide Basic, to the waning obsession with home ownership, to used car sales increasing relative to new car sales, to even rent-to-own furniture business is picking up.

From US News & World Report:

“The bumper sticker for this trend is the “new frugality.” But that’s an oversimplification that suggests the once indomitable American consumer is retreating, emasculated and broke, into a dimly lit cave. Not quite. True, Americans are saving more and spending less as they pay down painful debt and make do without the easy credit that fueled a 25-year spending binge. Despite widespread anxiety, however, Americans are still instinctively optimistic.

“They’re finding more satisfaction in less stuff, relying more on themselves, and breaking lavish consumption habits that were probably never sustainable. ‘Consumers are not going to give up on their aspirations to a better life,’ according to a recent study from the Futures Company, a market-research firm. ‘They will just rechannel these ambitions to fit the context of the marketplace.'”

The new context looks something like a blend of humility and pride. Humility is shown in the face of a declining American empire, and to a lost sense of entitlement to the best goods in all consumer categories. Yet, also pride in the ability to do without, to obsess less about unnecessary material things.

See US News & World Report for more insightful details in its coverage of why shopping may never be the same again.