Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bend Summer fest. report

The jazz stage was in front of my store, which was pleasant enough. Found myself snapping my fingers and tapping my (bare)feet. I'd get a blast of music everytime the door opened. I didn't have to resort to turning on my stereo to drown it out....

I got about 156 people in the door, less than the 200 I estimated. It may have been more, though, because it was too busy to keep an accurate count. Didn't seem very busy outside to me, but really, I couldn't tell from the small space I can scan.

Kept my sale table inside, since they cut off about a third of the sidewalk. But that actually seemed to work O.K. which has got me thinking. A little rearranging, and I might be able to make that permanent.

Had a well-dressed elderly couple come in looking for a hardcover local history book, and I figured out from the little information they had what they were looking for. It was a 29.99 book. He said, "I'll pass...."

It's not so much that he said, "I'll pass..." it's the WAY he said "I'll pass..." like I'd just asked for his first born grandson.

I called Linda. "Have we ever in 6 years gotten a used copy of that book?"

"No," she says. "But some people just want it for the price they see online."

O.K. Fair enough. What I said to the man was, "Well, it's either worth the price or it isn't...."

I'm sticking to my guns. I want a nice, fully stocked store in the middle of a high rent district. I have to ask retail.

Frankly, with the little information the couple gave me (wrong info at that), they would never have gotten an answer out of most mass market clerks. They got an answer because they asked someone who knew his stuff....


I'm still not getting a read on this summer.

I've had a good first eleven days of July. I'm 15% above my projected estimates. But I had an even better first six days of June, and it got dissipated by the end of the month and I ended up at the original average.

If I can do my original average per day the rest of the month, and keep the gains from the first ten days, I'll end up at six percent ahead of my predictions for the month.

Like I said, though, I don't know if that is going to happen. Lots of price resistance out there. I had a really busy Wednesday, a really slow Thursday, a really slow day through the first 5 hours Friday and then an explosion of business the last two hours.

So what's going on?

Anyway, I have to be careful about predictions for the other businesses in town. My tendency is to believe that if I'm doing well, everyone else is doing well, and if I'm doing poorly, everyone else is doing poorly. Overall, that's probably true, as long as I allow exceptions. (always have to allow the exceptions....)

But right now? I have no clue.

I mean, my foot-traffic count is way up. But I keep looking out the windows and seeing empty parking spots and quiet streets. It apparently doesn't seem that way to most of my customers, who think there are NEVER any parking spots -- but that's what I see.

We all have to be careful of 'selective perception.' Had a tourist in yesterday, and we were talking about the local economy, and she said, "I see a couple of 'For Lease' signs on this street." She said it with great portentousness.

But a couple of "For Lease" signs wouldn't have been all that unusual even in the boom years. Businesses are always coming and going.

Anyway, I know I should be pleased to be over 15% more than I expected to make.

I just wish I felt it was more solid.


joolz said...

at least the old couple didn't call you terrorists! regards,

Duncan McGeary said...


I'll be it was the same couple!