The Return Of Cash
American retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp. and J.C. Penney Co. are noticing a marked shift away from credit cards in favor of cash and debit cards. At Wal-Mart’s U.S. division, credit card payments as a percentage of total payments fell 7.4 percent so far in the current fiscal year. A big factor in thins, less credit available as major card issuers cut spending limits and raise fees even for customers who pay their bills on time.
The shift ends Americans’ long love affair with credit cards and is one of the changes in consumer behavior that has emerged since the financial meltdown that could depress consumer spending this holiday season and affect shoppers’ habits long afterward.
There are other subtle shifts that store managers are noticing. Volatility in spending around payday — a drop in spending in the days before, followed by spending bursts right afterward — has become even more pronounced since September. Read more on MSNBC.