apparently, Douglas Adams was on to something:
For months now, consumers have been hunkering down in an economic storm, buying only what they need to survive, like groceries, diapers, medicine â€” and shoes.
The American public, it would seem, cannot carry on without new shoes. Boots, booties, sneakers, pumps â€” for the last few months they have all been selling well as the broader economy struggles toward recovery.
… Among the more curious explanations proffered for the relative strength of shoe sales is that women â€” who make up the lionâ€™s share of the American shoe market â€” get an emotional lift from shoe shopping in a way they do not when trying on jeans and cocktail dresses.
As a reminder, I actually am enough of a H2G2-geek that i transcribed the entirety of the Shoe Event Horizon bit from the Radio Series a while back. Read it again, and note just how eerily prescient DNA was about this whole thing in light of the excerpted article above.