I was watching the news last night with my dispatch partner when they showed the what-seems-to-be-obligatory news story about how badly retailers are hurting again this Christmas season. I’m not totally unsympathetic to their plight, especially having worked retail myself a long time ago, but I’m not quite sure why they’re all panicking just yet. With less than two weeks to go before Christmas, I suspect that a lot of people will still be out and about trying to find that “perfect” gift be it something big like a Sony Flat Panel TV or even something smaller like an iPod Nano 16gb.
According to the news story, people were actually spending more this Christmas season than they were last year. I believe that sales were up 10% or so from last year but I guess the problem is that last year was such a dismal year that even what seems like a decent increase in sales to me isn’t all that great – at least not from a retailer’s point of view. I think perhaps where part of the problem lies is that, according to the report, sales were up for people who made over $100,000 a year while they were down for those who made $30,000 or less and I’ve got to think that there are a lot more people who make closer to the latter amount than they do the former.
I’m pretty sure that if I made $100,000 or more that I’d be spending more on gifts because I could and because I would certainly want to as there is definitely joy to be found in being able to find the right gift for a friend or loved one. You can’t put a price tag on the look on someone’s face when they open a gift that they know you took the time to pick out especially for them … it would probably be very much like the look one would see on my face were I ever to open a gift like, oh … say a Nikon D90 that I bought for me from me! Until I can find that elusive winning lottery ticket, though, I’m going to have spend less and choose wisely – which means I can still get some great gifts, it just requires a little more work on my part to find the best deals – no matter where they may be!