Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What have you done with Dunc?

I probably surprised people a couple of weeks ago when I said in the Bulletin that I thought Downtown Bend was not going to empty out. I predicted that both the Volo and the Merenda space would fill up, (and I think the Deep will, too.)


Because if anyone is going to open ANY business in Bend, Downtown Bend is the prime location.

This is not to say it is a smart or profitable move. Just that it will happen.

I've oft stated that Downtown Bend 'fails upward'; store comes in, fixes up space, fails, next store takes over nicer space at higher rent, fixes it up even more, fails, next store....

The difference is, now the rents aren't going up. Instead, sales are going down.

Equally challenging, but for different reasons.

With rents coming down or stabilizing (and I'm getting more and more reports of this....) the 'hermit crab' scenario is even more in play. Great locations, especially for businesses that are already solid.

Business in Downtown is definitely slower, but....it hasn't disappeared completely. I suspect that many locations around town are subsisting on nearly 100% regulars and locals. If that's enough, they'll survive.

But there is still a tiny bit of velvet Downtown. Just before I signed my last lease, about 4.8 years ago, I kept track of who was spending money in my store, and realized that a full 80% of my customers were people I either knew or recognized. By this, I mean people who actually spent money.

80%, during the summer, with lots of tourists.

(The old 80/20 rule seems to work here; 80% of the customers are drop-ins, but spend only 20% of the money. 20% of the people in the door are regulars, but spend 80% of the money.)

That formula probably changed a little over the next few years -- sales probably increased to somewhere in the range of 30 to 35% from drop-ins, though I didn't keep strict account.

I think it's shrunk back to about 20% again. When I do the numbers, my regulars get me about 80% of the way to my required totals everyday, so the other 20% are visitors and/or newcomers. All manageable if the overhead is kept down, and with careful buying.

What I'm saying, in a way, is that Downtown Bend is being sustained as much by it's cultural allure as by it's business profitability.

I cheer each new store opening. I can look forward to Zydeco being on a few doors away, to the Oxford Hotel being only a block away, to all the retail along the bottom.

What's not to like?



900 Wall
King of Sole (moved)
Outdoor Store
Luxe Home Interiors
Powell's Candy
Dudley's Used Books and Coffee
Subway Sandwiches
Bend Burger Company
Showcase Hats
Pita Pit
Happy Nails


Stewart Weinmann (leather)
Kebanu Gallery
Pella Doors and Windows
King of Sole (updated; moved.)
Olive company
Pink Frog
Little Italy
Pomegranate (downtown branch)
Pronghorn Real Estate office.
Blue Teal
Speedshop Deli
Finder's Keepers(?)
Paper Place
Bluefish Bistro
Painted Pony

Help me out here. Any others?


PopGoesBend said...

King of Sole moved into the old Pronghorn space

tim said...


Ya gotta be cruel to be kind.

BENDBUST said...

A frontal lobotomy they say is what happened to Dunc, aka Bend's Ned Flanders.

There is ONE BOOK on the Great Depression and it be "McElvaine" get the fucking book.

HBM asks why do we bother here with this fucking group? Good fucking point. But one recurring point is these FUCKING god-damn liberal shit eaters like dunc, hbm, and Bpussy who keep acting like they think they know what the fuck is going on, or that OREO ( Obama ) can fix the depression or that HOOVER did this or the FDR did that.

The FUCKING depression did NOT fucking end until WWII started and the un-employed sent off to war in 1942, and house-wives put to work.

From 1929-1932 the stock market collapsed. By 1932 real estate went into paralysis. In 1938 there was a false hope in the stock market a bear-trap.

All the 'stimulus' provided by FDR from 1932-1942 was just PORK, then as now, SURE for those who got the PORK, the depression ended. Like Rogers said the problem was were paying farmers to destroy crop to keep up prices, but people in the city's were starving for lack of food, ... That shit went on until WWII.

NOTHING anybody does will end the depression until we have a great war.

A depression is when YOU are unemployed, a recession is when you friends or neighbors are unemployed, today at over 10% un-employment national U6 the depression has started, we know in Crook County at almost 25% real unemployment folks are near starving.

Very little of the stimulus even in the original congress version was slated for ORYGUN.

ORYGUN is going to be the last places you want to be if you don't have 5-10 years worth of CASH LIQUID assets to hold you over with no fucking job.

It really irks me see hbm, or dunc, or Bpussy continually debate that this or that ended the great depression, nothing ended the fucking depression, except a world-war, and luck for the USA post 1946 the rest of the worlds manufacturing was destroyed, and ALL had to buy US goods, so the US became the king of the world for 50 fucking years, and then managed to fuck that up, and now we're going down and hard, and never again getting up.

Because in 1930's the USA was rich in steel, oil, and agriculture, Forest, today the USA is warn out exploited third world country, with all resources Bend Gone.

The truth is fucking hard, but as BEM says the sooner we deal with the truth, the sooner we can start living again.

Jack Elliott said...

W/r/t your running list of openings and closings, is the "Outdoor Store" Pandora's Backpack?

The "olive" store was the "Coeur D Alene Olive Oil Company". Crap olive oil, BTW -- any time someone needs to heap herbs and other flavorings into olive oil, the oil itself isn't worth much. Tourist trap, mainly.

What was the place next to Hot Box Betty?

I worry about that high end women's clothing store between Thump and Staccato -- not much traffic there.

Duncan McGeary said...

No, the one down on Wall. I drove by it, noted the name, but by the time I sat down at the computer again, all I could remember is the "outdoor" part.

Never could spell Coeur d aline.....

Jack Elliott said...

G.I. Joe's, mebbe?

Duncan McGeary said...


Wall Street.

Jack Elliott said...

That wasn't GI Joe's on Wall?

My bad.

Bender said...

Hey BendBust -- Take your crap and your F words to another blog. You provide little or no value. Move on ... Please