Post-recession shopping: No more brown bags, but more store brands


As soon as the recession is over, we'll stop brown-bagging lunch, but we'll keep cooking supermarket-brand food at home. In other words: Most of this talk about frugality being the new normal, retailers say, is just talk.

A survey of retail professionals finds that Americans will go back to their free-spending ways once they think the recession is over, except in those areas where they were already trimming back during the good times. The recession sped up some psychological changes for shoppers that were already under way, such as a new love for store brands and discount shopping, according to the survey, conducted by Dechert-Hampe & Co., a consulting firm for consumer goods manufacturers and retailers.