Editor's note: This article appeared in the October 29, 2008, edition of Quirk's e-newsletter.

Research shows that consumers had already shifted toward money-saving shopping alternatives weeks before the Wall Street collapse, and 53 percent report that they have become less brand loyal in favor of less-expensive brands, according to a study from Morpace Inc., a Farmington Hills, Mich., research company, which surveyed consumers from September 9-16. Cost proves a deciding factor as consumers opt for purchasing off-/store-/generic-brand items. Forty-three percent of respondents indicated there was no change in how they have been shopping, and only 4 percent indicated they are doing less off-brand shopping.

Fifty-four percent say they have been spending less money than in the past, outweighing by a margin of over three-to-one those who report spending more. Seventy percent say they are shopping sale items more often.