No. 8 Shopping: The Rich And The Rest

High-end retailers such as Ralph Lauren and Tiffany used to be pretty good indicators of where the economy was headed: when people make more luxury purchases, it's a sign of financial confidence. Those two retailers and others like them have rebounded nicely from the recession, while midmarket stores like Gap are still mired. What's going on?

Sales at top-tier retailers are now dominated by the wealthy, and the wealthy and the rest of us have been increasingly going our separate ways--a separation accelerated by the recession. The unemployment rate for people with a bachelor's degree or higher is 4.3%, less than...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!