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The New York Times reports that “consumers at all income levels have been splurging on indulgences while paring many humdrum household expenses, according to industry data for the last year. Many retailers also report that while fripperies like purses and perfumes are best sellers, they cannot get shoppers interested in basics like diapers, socks and vacuum bags.”

The story goes on: “Many of the products selling briskly are not high-priced, but they could be on a party supply list: premixed cocktails and coolers, cheesecake, cosmetics and wine. Meanwhile, sales of staples like batteries, bleach and fertilizer have declined sharply.

“The pattern has shifted since the recession, when shoppers stocked up on basics but consumer spending and overall retail sales plummeted. Now, despite persistent consumer pessimism, spending is holding up, retailers have posted consistent profits and some companies that make the fun stuff are reporting especially strong results.”
KC's View:
First of all, I’m a sucker for any story with the word “fripperies” in it.

Second, this seems consistent with past reports, like the one that said that hamburger sales are up because it is less expensive than steak, but that upscale hamburger restaurants are doing well because they are seen as affordable indulgences.