Friday, April 17, 2009

Feeling chipper, myself. How are you guys?

Thing I'm having a hard time understanding is how people could be opening new businesses, reopening closed businesses, moving and or expanding.

To me, this is time to consolidate and minimize and keep a steady hand on the tiller.

Sales at my store have been unexpectedly good so far this month. But it's all pretty flukey. Not something I can count on continuing. My base business, what I've been doing over the last five years, is down. All my periphery business is doing very well. So I'm patting myself on the back for seeing the need for the periphery business.

There's a great map over on SLATE that shows job gains and job losses over the last two years. Turns from blue to a horrid red, from coast to coast. Deschutes had gained something like 3500 jobs as the maps starts, and loses something like 5500 jobs by the end.

At the same time as a populous county like Washington County, loses a total of 7000 jobs.

We haven't gotten the local unemployment stats, have we? We know Oregon is the highest in the nation,(correction, 2nd highest behind Michigan) and Deschutes has to be the highest actually populated county (Crook and Harney and such may be higher) in the state. So we're looking at -- what? 15% unemployment?

And I do believe Bend has a much higher proportion of contract workers, like real estate agents and sub-contractors, who aren't included. And underemployed. And people who have just flat given up.

People are leaving town.

Commercial real estate is in for a reckoning. And yet, I noticed that they're still trying to get 2.00 a foot for the parking garage retail spaces. I don't think the landlords are quite there yet.

Home construction falls 10.8% in March, from February. But again, the statistic that counts is the 48.4 drop from last year.

So, even though my store seems to be weathering the storm well, I can still look out over the horizon and see lots of ARM's, and NOD's and Short Sales and job losses and business failures yet to come.

We're not over this yet. Probably not this year. And probably not next year, either.


Duncan McGeary said...

Why would my periphery business be doing better?

I don't know.

I think there's a kind of scrounging ethos happening right now.

I think maybe I have more time to deal with it, and talk to people, and (admittedly) make deals, and root out some material from the basement and such.

But....I've sold more sports cards than anything other than comics, this month, and I've sold toy lines that I've had on the shelves for years and I've sold quite a few odd sets and graphic novels.

I'm able to completely restock the essential evergreens, and even able to bring in new stuff.

I just ordered a shelf's worth of 'paranormal romance' novels, because I keep getting requests for them. Don't know that they'll sell (other than the Twilight books, which continue to sell) but that's the fun of it.

RDC said...


Bewert said...

UE stats by county are due to be released Monday at 11 AM, probably first at this page: