Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It is your patriotic duty to spend money.


Doesn't work this time?

How about? It is your Christian duty to spend money at Christmas!

What, you don't want to celebrate Christ's birthday? Sacrilege!

It's going to be an interesting Christmas in all kinds of ways. For one thing, I wonder if the consumers will do their usual "Let's wait until the last minute and get bargain basement prices!" thing again.

I suspect they may find the pickings pretty slim by that time. Oh, lots of junk for cheap prices as usual, but anything in demand it going to go out of stock sooner than usual, because the stores are going to pocket the cash instead of buying more stuff.

Lean and mean will be the phrase, among the savvy retailers.

Probably nothing to worry about, though. Most stores haven't gotten the memo yet.

Or haven't ever been in a position of actually buying less stuff.

I also suspect you'll see more decorating than ever. Atmosphere is cheap.

Sure. Sales. Lots and lots of sales. But it will be stuff they have in stock, and it will be stuff they won't replace. But with twinkling lights and the smell of gingerbread candles and that lovely Christmas music.

I'm not actually expecting a Christmas boost this year. Always surprises me when I read that many stores get a third of their revenue from Christmas. They must be petrified. I get a nice little 25% boost, usually, same as summer. Nice, but not a dealbreaker either way.

Meanwhile, I did get the memo.

A stern e-mail from the Sheriff of Nottingham.

"Cancel Christmas!"

But people have been ignoring the Sheriff every year for my entire career. More likely, they'll take after that couple in the Master Card commercial who buy his and her sports cars with their credit card.

Now THAT'S the Christmas Spirit!


BilboBend said...

I agree there will be an xmas this year, next year will be more interesting, as that will be the year of un-employment. It will be 10% by next spring 2009 'depression territory'.

This year the credit-cards haven't been called. The layoff's are coming. All factory's are shutting down.

People will buy their turkeys, people will buy junk at Walmart and trade.

I haven't bought an xmas present for anyone for years, but its more a principal thing.

To me the xmas gift-exchange, has always been a swap, where people get angry if their 'grab-bag' isn't of equal value.

US is still on world standards a 'rich young' country. We still are addicted to crap&gadgets. The monkeys will continue to buy shit at Walmart, and wrap it up, or Costco, and trade up for some other crap.

Don't get me wrong, watching a child open a few packages is fun, but that's 1% of what xmas in the USA has become. Its just another example of vain, and vile ameriKKKan's. Yes, Dunc xmas shoppers in 2008, will do what they have done for the past 40 years.

It's NEXT YEAR, when your going to see some very interesting change in behavior. This will be remembered as a very good year.

Jeff said...

Great posts, but don't you think that some retailers could actually prosper from this new environment? Like big box discount stores like Walmart?

For them I bet this new economic situation is a blessing in disguise.

For kids, the big ticket toys ($150+) are out -- maybe it's just a video game this year.

Nobody does that better than Walmart.

BilboBend said...

Hell today they reported that Jefferson & Crook already have +10% unemployment. So in the defined economic sense the depression is already here.

Spring of 2009, we'll see USA average un-employment of +10%, but given that our 'experts' still are incapable of calling our Recession since May of 2007 a Recession, it will be 2018 before the 2009 Depression is called a depression.

Most businesses I known have been in free fall since May of 2007. Certainly people did what they could do to keep their employees through this xmas, that's almost 18 months, most CPA's have been saying that 2009, would turn-around, so folks dipped into 401k's to keep their retail open, and dipped into cards. Given that the US has created $10Trillion of FED-PAPER in the past 3-6 months just to prop up the banks, its fairly clear that dumping money is not going to bring a cheery 2009.

For ten long years the US public has had a NEGATIVE saving's rate, first time in history. A period of austerity will come whether people of power want it or not.

Unemployment, and tons of personal consumer debt will cause people to cut back, and the layoff's are coming big time, as orders have plummeted this fall, in a time that is normally the best of the year for manufacturing.

Regarding today's Jefferson & Crook at +10%, so what they got all these people to move there, they both have +30 years of crap-shack inventory. There are NO jobs, other than government jobs, and subsistence ranching. These places will revert to what they have always been.

Here in BEND, most retirees who moved here post 1998 to retire, and having already lost 1/2 their nest on stocks, are now sitting pretty on their BOND's, soon the bond's will plummet, and almost all of Bend's new retirees will be BROKE. Then ton's of oldsters will be looking for jobs at Trader-Joes.

We brought 50k hungry mouths to the Bend area in the last ten years, and there are no jobs or food for them.

Merry Xmas.

Enjoy your turkey, there may not be one next xgiv.

Duncan McGeary said...

A stronger Walmart. Not what I would consider best results.

Yeah, some business will do fine. My wife's store hasn't seemed to miss a beat.

But, if I may be egocentric, it's about me and Pegasus Books, and I think this isn't going to be so good for me or for Downtown.

Even Downtown isn't for me to say, really.

But to ignore my own experience is foolish.