It’s taxes due day in America and the perfect time to look at consumer spending and the retail segment of our economy.
From today’s New York Times:
The consumer spending slump and tightening credit markets are unleashing a widening wave of bankruptcies in American retailing, prompting thousands of store closings that are expected to remake suburban malls and downtown shopping districts across the country.
Since last fall, eight mostly midsize chains — as diverse as the furniture store Levitz and the electronics seller Sharper Image — have filed for bankruptcy protection as they staggered under mounting debt and declining sales.
Even retailers that can avoid bankruptcy are shutting down stores to preserve cash through what could be a long economic downturn. Over the next year, Foot Locker said it would close 140 stores, Ann Taylor will start to shutter 117, and the jeweler Zales will close 100.
Speaking to the consumer spending question in today’s Washington Post, marketing consultant and friend of AdPulp, Marc Babej, said, “The common denominator in what people will look for is how to get the most bang for their buck. That means trying to get better value and more pleasure out of each dollar you spend.”
Better value and more pleasure. I like that. That ought to be S.O.P., no matter what the economy is doing.