This weekend, Saks Fifth Avenue ran a full page ad in the NYTimes promoting “The Gift of Time. Enjoy no interest and no payments for 12 months on item purchases of $2,000 or more.” I’m not surprised. This is a great message for those who may not be as liquid as they once were and for those who hope this economic situation will abate in mid ’09.

It also might hit home to wary older customers. In fact, according to our recent consumer survey, where we asked: Given the current state of the US economy, how are you planning to change your holiday shopping habits? Customers over 45 years old are more likely to say they will spend less overall and avoid any major purchases. So retailers whose customer base skews older, might try the same tactic Saks has launched.