read at WWD.com:
"NEW YORK — The economy will turn around some day — but don’t expect conspicuous consumption to make a comeback.
So believes H. Lee Scott, chief executive officer of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., noting the dismal economy has caused a permanent and fundamental change in consumer behavior.
The ceo of the world’s largest retailer spoke at the opening session of the National Retail Federation’s 98th annual convention and expo here Monday morning. In what he called his last public speech as Wal-Mart’s ceo — he’ll be succeeded by Mike Duke on Feb. 1 — Scott predicted the first half of 2009 will be “extraordinarily challenging. In the second half you’ll have a rough spot against the stimulus package. It will be moderately better next year. I don’t see anything that says it will turn around swiftly.”"