Consumer products and services can range from "higher-order" or luxurious items such as quality watches, to "lower-order" basic items such as hawker food ("Shopping patterns shift amid slowdown"; Oct 12).
Although consumer demand is more sensitive negatively to higher-order goods and services in a prolonged downturn, retailers of lower-order items can also do their part by not raising prices as consumers adjust by consuming more lower-order items.
These retailers could even lower their pricing as demand for their products and services rises.
This way, retailers of more basic necessities can be seen as making a concerted effort to adjust to the economic downturn for the benefit of all consumers, especially the lower-income groups.
Gan Kok Tiong