Americans spurn shopping in favor of cultural offerings

Posted on: January 5, 2010

In Sunday’s (1/3) New York Times, Damien Cave reports from Miami, “Rosario and Igor Montoya used to buy, buy, buy for themselves and their two children without a second thought. Expensive sneakers, a new laptop, Legos—they all got what they wanted. But with the recession slashing the Montoyas’ workload and income by more than half, their priorities have shifted from products to activities. … Quietly but noticeably over the past year, Americans have rejiggered their lives to elevate experiences over things. Because of the Great Recession, a recent New York Times/CBS News poll has found, nearly half of Americans said they were spending less time buying nonessentials, and more than half are spending less money in stores and online. But Americans are not just getting by with less. They are also doing more. … While one new study shows that attendance at museums and cultural events dropped from 2002 to 2008, it has climbed in 2009 at many major institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago. … Even here in Miami, a city famous for its materialism, retailers are hurting while audiences continue to grow at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.”

Posted January 5, 2010