Blaming weather is lame. Weather happens. It happens all the time. It's either too hot or too cold.
But I blame the weather.
Doesn't help to have "Blizzard Warnings" the full 10 days before Christmas. Especially, since these days everyone pretty much waits for the last 10 days.
Another thing that has happened. Kids are still in school. I can't remember a time when the kids were in school until just a few days before Christmas. They are going to be out all of 1 or 2 days extra this year...that's it. They'll get an extra week after the New Year, but that isn't the same at all.
It's not so much that that kids spend money but that families are anchored from leaving town or coming to town. In Bend's case, coming to town.
Look, no way around it, we make our any extra profits -- when that happens, which is rarely -- from the tourist trade. July, August and December pay for much of the rest of the year. So anything that detracts from that isn't helpful.
I mentioned before that what I'm selling isn't as hot this year. Boardgames were super hot last year.
There's a game, called Pandemic, that I've been trying to get for months. Now I order from by far the largest game distributor in the country. So I get a call from someone who wants the expansion -- which has been available, but which I didn't order. (My bad.) Anyway, the customer says he got it from Target.
I'm sending an employee out there today to make a list of which Euro style games he sees. Pandemic is mid-list Euro game, not one of the biggest like Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, Dominion. So it could be a fluke, or not.
I'm not surprised that Target had it, it was only a matter of time, and I'm surprised it hasn't happened before.
Finally, the shooting in Newton I think really did put a damper on the holiday spirit for a good while. Maybe that's as it should be -- we think about the things that are important.
So this is one of those times when I wish I could get honest estimates from other retailers about how they are doing -- but simply doesn't happen.
Ironically, even though we had huge sales last year at Christmas, I probably actually came out negative in the balance sheets because I spent so much in November and December. This year I was more conservative, so we are still going to make a good profit.
It's always how much you spend, not how much you sell.
4 days ago