Skeptics like to argue that short-term economic woes are the real drivers behind the trends in we are currently seeing in consumer shopping behavior. They contend that declines in shopping frequency and popularity gains of discount department stores are purely responses to adverse economic conditions which existed in the early 1990s.

While Management Horizons sees a grain of truth in that assertion, we believe that long-term demographic trends point to a general continuation of current shopping patterns. The aging trend, for example, will continue to have impact on shopping frequency, fashion preferences, and spending patterns. So until scientists discover a miracle cure for aging, we expect that moderation, value and convenience will continue to be major motivators of consumer shopping patterns. And value offers will continue to meet those consumer needs where ever they are consistently found.

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