Price Check, Aisle 5 by ProQuest

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After months of whispers and sotto voce chatter, the word is finally being uttered out loud: Recession. While some retailers are claiming immunity, the industry overall is undoubtedly feeling the pinch. Consumers continue to remain cautious with their money, especially if employment opportunities aren't expanding. But this latest economic belt-tightening may be generating an all-new response. For the first time in the 15 years of its annual Consumer Sentiment Index, consulting firm AlixPartners found that customers ranked getting "the lowest price available" as the most important factor contributing to their shopping decisions. In rough economic times, the keys to survival are the abilities to make quick decisions and to remain flexible to the whims of the market.

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