Listening to the Voice Of Their Inner Cheapskate

With consumer confidence in full retreat, will Americans stop treating themselves to top-shelf goods and start hunting for bargains? In fact, a majority of them believe they’ve been doing that already. In a poll conducted for Adweek by Alden & Associates Marketing Research of Hermosa Beach, Calif., people were asked: What matters most to you when you shop—getting a good bargain or getting the very best, regardless of cost? By amargin of 57 percent to 43 percent, “good bargain” outpolled “very best.” Playing to their self-indulgent stereotype, men were less likely than women (49 percent versus 62 percent) to situate themselves in thebargain-hunting class. But if you think of old folks as a frugal bunch, think again: In a breakdown of the data by age, the 65-plus respondents were the only cohort for which “very best” won a majority (51 percent). Income was not a significant dividing line on this issue. And there was no difference of opinion between married and single people.Mug Shots/The Stock MarketPhotofest