BusinessWeek published a robust special report last week entited How We Buy. It's full of insight into the modern shopping mechanism and how our attitudes, and options, are changing with the times.
Among the articles are pieces covering both how consumers' mindsets have changed and retailers' efforts to adjust to the "new normal." Brand-centric articles focus on companies from Gucci to Facebook.
The whole report is a great read for people working or interested in the retail arena.