When times are tough, it's more valuable to shrink your target market rather than letting your margins shrink. Staying in touch with existing customers is usually much less expensive than acquiring customers. If your customers are suffering, then commiserate with them! The most important problem is avoiding fear. Channel your energy into strengthening your relationships.
Chiefmarketer.com: Loyalty Marketing in Times of Economic Distress, 2008-May-20, by Rick Ferguson
Don't spend your finite resources further training your customers to wait you out for the next sale. Instead, focus your efforts on marketing to the two core groups of customers who can most directly influence revenue:
High-value customers you want to retain. Give them offers to keep them spending at their current level. For these loyal customers, tilt the hard-soft benefit equation toward the soft side with special benefits and access unavailable to the general population.
High-potential customers you want to grow. Give them offers to shop more often and spend more during each visit. Use targeted discounts and bonuses through your loyalty program or store card and monitor their transactions.