Business: Buyers Swing to Quality

Behaving like Europeans, U.S. consumers find that it pays to spend more

"Nobody knows what prices will be like years from now, so people look on quality as an investment. They find that if it costs $20 to $30 more for an item that will last twice as long as something cheaply made, then the money is welt spent."

—Caqui Carrillo, Miami retailer

The quest for quality certainly seems to be the guiding principle for more and more cost-conscious shoppers this year. With the inflation-warped economy throwing off mixed signals, retailers are having trouble making guesses about how good (or bad) business will...

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