Dell recently produced a new, luxury laptop. It may sit on retail shelves a bit, said Forrester Research analyst Simon Yates. "PCs have fallen to the bottom of the list, now that the recession has hit," said Yates. "Businesses are using that money for other priorities."
There's a "shabby chic" mentality, as companies embrace less-conspicuous consumption. At Small Dog Electronics, a Vermont Apple retailer with 43 employees, workers share hotel rooms when traveling to trade shows and car pool to meetings. The annual company party was nixed in favor of a potluck meal. "It's just a commitment to be thrifty and finding innovative ways to save," said chief executive Don Mayer. And in Boston, John Pepper (right), chief executive of Boloco restaurants, uses the T religiously and turns to Zipcar when he needs a vehicle. "It's all about not wasting the hard-earned dollars that our 300-plus team members allow us to put in the bank every day," he said.
Sal Perisano, chief executive of iParty Corp. in Dedham, which is cutting back everything from operating expenses to advertising, put it best. "As we say around here, necessity is a mother."