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The Economy in Perspective

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The medium is the message … During the holiday season, while standing in line to buy just the right gift—or to return just the wrong one—you might stop to reflect on the evolution of shopping. There was a time when people would "go shopping" as a social pastime, but those days now appear to be the relic of a bygone era. In the second phase of the evolution, retailers learned how to reel in customers with double coupons, "midnight madness" sales, and everyday low pricing. Then came malls featuring petting zoos, beauty contests, and amusement park rides. But the inescapable truth of the shopping experience is that the transaction itself is too slow, sometime frustrating, and not very high-tech.

Suggested citation: “The Economy in Perspective,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 95-12, pp. 01, 12.01.1995.

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