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Bubble Barbie, I'll Pass Patty, Chic Chic Charlotte—no, it isn't a cast of characters from a Cecily von Ziegesar novel or the new Polly Pocket line you'll be picking up for your nieces come December. They're three of the "shopping personalities" WSL Strategic Retail is claiming describe the recession-era shopping habits of women.
The two that seem to be most run-of-the-mill, Shop-a-lot Sue and Miserable Mona, both shop at discount stores but in completely different ways. Sue, who enjoys shopping but is short on cash, has "given up on her aspirations for big-name brands and is OK with less" and shops online, at Wal-Mart or wherever a deal can be had.
WSL recommends companies keep bargain-hunting Sue types engaged with coupons and special promotion, instead of aiming to entice gals like poor ol' Mona, who "is so jaded by her financial situation that she finds no pleasure in shopping", and will shop discounts and sales but won't seek any out online.
For Barbie, the super-spender and recession-ignorer with high debt, Patty, for whom shopping only occurs as a necessity, and Charlotte, who has tons of money and loves spending it (ooh, we like her) but still buys less than she used to, the average yearly household income ranges $72,000 to $101,000. Poor ol' Sue and Mona, on the other hand, only get $60,000 to work with.
They do seem to leave out one category—the people who make way less than these five ladies, but still somehow find a way to always buy a new pair of Jeffrey Campbell shoes every season. But we don't know anyone like that. At all. Never. — Carlye Wisel
· Survey Finds Five "Shopper Personalities" [WWD]