Thursday, December 18, 2008

Out of my hands.

Felt myself relaxing yesterday, because I'm done influencing the Christmas sales. What will be, will be. Too late to do any reorders.

Besides, counter-intuitive as it is, I've found it better to make lots of reorders during slow times, and not so much in busy times. Busy times mean lots of new visitors, either infrequent locals or out-of-towners, and everything in the store is new to them. An item that might have been passed by a dozen times by regulars might be just the thing that someone from the valley has been looking everywhere for.

I'm glad we had the storm last week; hopefully everyone is acclimated.

I do wonder what's going to happen next year with everyone's inventory. I suspect that every retailer is cutting back, and the unintended result will be that there will be less selection and higher prices.

Which will come as a shock, since I'm certain the public believes the retailers are desperate.

I know that what happens in my store is that the LESS I sell of a stocked item, the MORE likely I am to stick to full retail price. Since I'm a long-tail store with lots of diverse product, but an inch deep, this is pretty much my pricing strategy.

Bigger stores who deal in large volume, who deal in what I would term commodities, have a pricing structure based on buying in quantity, getting the lowest price, and therefore need to sell in quantity to make it all work.

I think a 'specialty' store wanders into this territory at their own peril.

Meanwhile, I'm sure that everyone thinks the internet will be the answer. But I suspect that shortages of a particular product will appear there, too, because so many of the internet sites are connected to brick and mortar stores and because cut backs are cut backs.

There is an interconnected aspect to all this that everyone is underestimating. And the cascading effects of cutbacks will ripple all through the economy.

3 comments:

Bend Economy Man said...

You'll note that there are some businesses "quietly closing their doors" in Bend.

A typical Bend pattern. Remember J.T. Miller's? Store was probably there downtown for 10 years and then one day, the store was gone and the family who ran it had moved somewhere.

People tend to skip town when their businesses in Bend fail. It's probably out of shame.

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

"The only constant is change."
- Isaac Asimov

"The more things change, the more they stay the same."
- truism

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."
- Ghandi

Stores close down all over, and have done so since the first shopkeeper opened his doors. And new stores open up. I think we are all bobbing on these waves in time, and it can be distressing to see the ebb when you don't realize it's part of the flow.

I think of D.H. Holmes in New Orleans and the Deep South -- an institution, in our blood and bones, appearing in "A Confederacy of Dunces," and certainly a fixture in Walker Percy's life as well -- suddenly gone. The fat Sear's Wish Book drooled over by Boomers everywhere...you can buy it as an artifact on eBay...gone, gone, gone.

Hang in there.

BilboBend said...

Counter-Intuitive?

I have always said.

Relax take time off and enjoy in good times, ad idiot can make money asleep at the switch.

In bad times, you must work your ass off and always be there.

I think its always been this way.

Counter Intuitive? Only if you have not owned your own business.