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. 

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Comments (Archived):

  1. aarondelcohen

    The psychology of the recession is almost more troubling than the fundamentals. I feel like I’m not spending either. Strangely enough, I feel modestly less patriotic. I know we don’t know each other Joanne, but I know Fred a little and found your blog through him and my wife Nina and I are both reading. Thanks for it.Aaron

  2. Banet

    While it may be psychology that’s slowing down Gotham Gal and the poster above, for the majority of america reality is setting in.In very simple terms, people have been living beyond their means — in the forms of outsized mortgages, home equity loans, and cred card debt — for some time now. I don’t know why people did it — maybe they always figured they could get a better job down the road or sell their house at a fantastic price.Well, that aforementioned reality is setting in. People are now worried about even *having* a job and whether they’ll be able to sell their house ta any price at all. With that looming over every day, personal spending has been cut back drastically.And past profligacy is only going to amplify things. If you make $100k annually, but have been spending $110k annually, you’re not going to cut back to $100k — you’re gonna cut back to $90k so you have $10k left to pay off your debt.With this in mind, is it so surprising that retail sales dropped 2.8% from September to October? After all, how hard would it be for you cut back on purchases 2.8%? And that’s not 2.8% lower on everything — that’s just on your retail purchases. It sounds like Gotham Gal’s cut back 20%. Or maybe 50%.Bottom line? I think we’re in for a veeerrrryyyy long and bumpy road.Peterhttp://www.FlashlightWorthy…Recommending books so good, you’ll spend that extra 2.8%. 😉

  3. ellen

    amen to the attitude of the service people. It is time for more customer appreciation. I still don’t see it though. The contruction industry is very, very slow, and I still get slate roofing contractors who think that they are doing brain surgery and should be paid accordingly.

  4. Dory


  5. rachel

    couldn’t agree more…keep hearing stories of snoody maitre-dees being unaccomodating…times have changed and unless service providers catch on, there are plenty of other places to give business these days.