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How recession-proof is online shopping?

onine shoppingDo online retailers have a better chance of beating the global recession than their bricks-and-mortar counterparts?

It's no secret that consumers are cutting back big time. Frugality is the new chic. Tight budgets and high fuel prices are leading to an increase in cocooning that can't be wholly attributed to bitter winter weather. Even New York City is reporting subway ridership has scaled back to levels not seen since the 1950s, as workers lose jobs and shoppers don't leave home to shop.

Hard to find bright spots in such scenarios, but grim economic times could bode better for online retailers than their beleaguered meatspace counterparts. A recent Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates survey finds 26 percent of consumers saying they'll shop more online if their personal financial situation worsens in the coming year.

These so-called "recession shoppers" aren't just buying online to save shoe leather and tire treads. They're hunting for rock-bottom prices, deep discounts and solid deals.

Most of all, recession shoppers love coupons.

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