Thrifty Consumers Get Comfortable

As luxury sales fall, consumers are getting, well, more casual. Sling-backs have been stored, flash has been forgotten, and our biggest foe, the Ugg boot, has returned. The furry footwear’s sales increased by 57 percent since last year, and things are looking up for the boot in 2009. Big Money writer Martha White writes that in this economy, “shoppers have shifted their top priority from looking good to feeling good.” The bottom line for staying shoe-wise in 2009: boutiques will downsize and collections will shrink so go crazy while there’s still stock on the shelves—but practice restraint, of course.