NYTimes Reports Increase in Online Shopping

Greg Manikw, the author of my favorite Macroeconomics book, writes in his blog a series on Cross-Price Elasticity of Demand.

The New York Times reports that shoppers are doing more online shopping than driving to the stores. While the demand for the products has not shifted to their substitutions, the channels through which people buy has.

Online shopping is gaining at a time when simply filling up a gas tank to head to the mall can seem like a spending spree.

A number of retailers — including Gap, Victoria’s Secret and J. C. Penney — are experiencing double-digit sales growth at their shopping Web sites, creating a surprising bright spot during an otherwise gloomy time for sales in brick-and-mortar stores.

Down the line this means drop in incentives to the employees who work in the shops and it is bound to cause shift in their consuming patterns.

If I can make predictions about other economic and consumer behavior changes we should expect in the future, these are in my short list:

1. People brown-bagging lunch
2. Product unbundling in restaurants. No more free bread, chips-salsa or worse no more free napkins or water.
3. 4 day work week, with 10 hours a day
4. US Mail stopping Saturday delivery
5. Newspapers adding a higher delivery surcharge, causing a shift to their online version.