I get nervous every year around this time.
Last year, Pegasus Books did over 70% of our business in the second half of the month. In fact, the first half of the month's daily average was actually below the yearly average.
Then BOOM! Best Christmas ever.
I think I understand why this time lag is happening.
First of all, we've gotten to that point in the season where shopping online probably can't guarantee arrival before Christmas.
Second, despite what everyone says, most people do like to experience the Christmas shopping thing, if only for a short time, and the best time is the week before the holiday. The bustle can be invigorating.
Third, Bend being a tourist town, we get all the visitors and out-of-towners in that last week. Kids get out of school. Tourists always spend more money than locals. Everything in my store is new to them. Downtown fills up.
In other words...it's time.
Makes it hard to plan inventory, though. If something sells out, we probably can't get it in on time. So I'll end up with too much of some things and not enough of others. We used to be able to get a read on things. The big boom on the weekend after Thanksgiving, a lull of a week or so, and then a steady build where we could adjust.
Now we just fill the store, wait until that last week, and hope we guessed right.
But so far, they haven't cancelled Christmas.
I think we're flirting with disaster, though. Every year. Imagine that snowfall of a couple of weeks ago happening now. My business dropped to nothing for a few days. This wouldn't just cost a few hundred bucks, but at this time of year would be thousands of bucks. Imagine a disaster somewhere in the world where everyone becomes glued to the TV.
It's scary. Being a business that depends on Christmas makes the experience different.
Fortunately, I usually relax on Christmas Eve. Suddenly a pleasant lassitude washes over me. It's out of my hands.
I can finally enjoy.
3 days ago