The reality of a slowdown
In the past week, I have been to 2 events where our investments were discussed. I have never seen so many people turn out for either of these events before. Guess when things are bad, people come out of the woodwork. Both meetings with impressive. One of them made me feel as if I was at an economic summit. Brilliant people who I am very grateful are watching our back. Wish they were running the bailout but that is another story.
The reality of the slowdown is everywhere. I walked through the streets of Soho a few times this week and see that the stores are empty except for the lone salesperson. I have gone to 2 sales which were 40% off everything in the store, in stores that are too high to begin with, and they were far from busy. I only bought items that I knew I could use today as well as 5 years from now. Items that I might have picked up six months ago, I left on the rack. I just feel as though I don't need to do it, I don't need to make that purchase. From the looks of the consumer confidence index, it appears that I am with the majority.
Certainly some restaurants will be recession proof while others will suffer and perhaps go under. Even the top restaurants will not be packed to the gills nightly. Yesterday I made a phone call to make a reservation for lunch. I am getting together with Jessica's friends Moms. Her friends Mom initiated the event and I made the reservation, four people at 1pm. The particular place we chose is not crowded at lunch but from my phone call, you would think that I should be so lucky to have a seat. The woman who answers the phone puts me on hold and then comes back and says How's 115? I said you can't do 1? Pause…ok, 1pm. What's up with that? She obviously has not been clued in that restaurants are empty and stores are not even luring in customers with sales. Nobody has proved that they are recession proof. She should have thanked me graciously and said we are looking forward to seeing you next week. Call me crazy but when we are there next week I guarantee the place is not full.
My response to all NYC places is that we have entered a new era…get an attitude adjustment and quick! People need to return to the old fashioned way of doing business which is making people feel fantastic that they entered your doors. That should always happen but unforunately it doesn't. Now more than ever, my loyalties will certainly be to places where they are beyond happy to have my business.