9 thoughts on “Economic indicators

  1. I’ve shopped at a woman’s store named Catherine’s. The branch I go to was two floors. Sometime in the recent past they shrank it to one floor. I the last two years, Michael’s Crafts has reduced the amount and scope of yarn they carry. An independent yarn store that opened in the 1930s in Queens has this year reduced it’s store hours from five days to two days a week and reduced their stock also.

  2. Something I’ve noticed in retail is what I like to call “new store syndrome.” People race to the newer stores because, in my opinion, it’s a new place to go. In any town I’ve been in for the past several years, there’s a Target and a Walmart and a Kmart. In practically every case, the Kmart is the oldest building, usually by a lot. In the southern suburbs of Pittsburgh, Kmart built a new store several years ago — but only because the old one burned down. Every Kmart I’ve been in for years has looked like it would take a week to properly restock and straighten up the shelves. Many shoppers respond negatively to this — “I’ll shop in a craphole, but only as long as it doesn’t look like one. I want my discount store to help me pretend I’m shopping in Nordstroms by putting useless designer names on everything.” On the flip side, Kmart’s more likely to put everything on sale because of this, and more power to the folks like you and I who notice.

  3. I noticed the lack of crowds at the stores this weekend, too. Parking wasn’t much of a problem. I’d expect parking to be a problem on a weekend this close to Christmas. It’s all kinda depressing.

  4. Forget the shopping and focus on the reason for the season: the Solstice is the shortest day of the year. The days *will* get longer now, and Spring will come again. Gather with friends, light some candles, and sing the night away.

  5. I went Xmas shopping this weekend, too, and it wasn’t very crowded anywhere I went. People either have 1) no money, or 2) are shopping online for the majority of their stuff. I feel sad for small, independent stores, because I think they’ll be the first to go in the future. Like my small store – if we didn’t own the building (with a very reasonable mortgage), we’d be closed already.

  6. A friend is out of work. She decided no one would be hiring before New Years so she put out a lot of networking.

    Then she volunteered to work at poverty store where every donation needs to be cleaned or slightly repaired and then priced.

    After the Thanksgiving day week end they were basically out of stock.

    The group voted to move the sales to the very front of the store and
    make the remaining space a crash pad with no obligations. They would try to feed, but their main mission was to get people off of the streets in freezing weather.

    I’ve stopped sending money to people in the states. I know it is becoming a hell for overeducated, inexperienced people a job in this depression.

    I tell all, I will buy a Greyhound Bus Ticket to relatives and send enough for food, but you can’t afford your rent with you each working two part time jobs with no benefits. It is shove time, pack up and move back in with one of your fathers or mothers.

    If they have health problems, I offer to get them into the country where I live and they can live comfortably, not luxury, for $200 rent and $200 food, clothes, etc.

    Excellent medical care is cheap. I was approached several weeks ago by a surgeon I know. Told me the man needed a hernia operation, cost about $50. No problem, called me back later, the man needed a special mesh installed to prevent this from happening again soon. Total cost about $250 for the hospital and surgery.

    Sent my friend/translator to check on the family. Many children, no savings, wife didn’t have enough money to ride a bus for $0.17 to the hospital. My friend will monitor their needs and buy basic food, fuel and liquids. Probably cost me another $500 before he can go back to work. I’ve got it, they need it. No problem.

    I had hernia surgery in the early 80s. I believe that the operation and 24 hours in hospital cost over $2000. I had extra Caddilac health coverage, so it didn’t cost me a dime.

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