Purchasing Power

RETAIL IS A $9 TRILLION BUSINESS around the world, a staggering figure that includes everything from the shopper on New York City's Fifth Avenue who swoops into Cartier and splurges on a Trinity ring to the gemstone buyer in Jaipur, India, who buys a handful of uncut moonstones while sitting in the gutter on a busy market street. Shopping is primordial and social at the same time. If you need a new computer, you go to the Apple store. And, incidentally, the folks at Apple have made it incredibly easy to hang out there for a while, maybe buy some more...

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