Taxes Are Out of the Way. Let’s Shop!

All is a buzz at ALL of the local shopping strips. I have been all over town today shopping and running errands with my wife, and it… well, it’s mad out here! People are coming out of the wood work from who knows where. And what’s more, they are shopping. Where’d all the spending money come from?

I suspect that the money comes from tax returns? Or people just know what they’re gonna get back on there taxes so they’re spending it faster than they can get their hands on it? Incredible. I guess new clothes, books, entertainment, and other odds and ends have been what we’ve longed for for the past couple seasons—we were just waiting for an excuse to shop.

There are some unusual spend habit developments thanks to the economy that are worth noting. I learned recently that during an economic meltdown—recession—it’s more likely to cut appliance and repair sales and not to touch entertainment and dining. People prefer good times and escapism over necessities and conveniences added to their lives, so when it comes right down to it, they’ll go out with friends and live high on the hog rather than put money towards paying off the car.

Clothing Trends at the Mall
I’m a big fan of Abercrombie and Hollister. I’ve kept a watchful eye on them and their competitors in the recession to see how they adjust to fewer sales. Several media outlets are likewise, and recent interviews with the likes of Abercrombie execs tell that they are not planning to change anything about their prices and discounts (or the lack thereof). Why? Because they believe they are doing the right thing and always were in their business model. Abercrombie values quality 100% over quick sales, and if they cut costs for their apparel they will have to cut quality. Shoppers would be happier about the price, but the long term effect would cut quality craftsmanship.

Good for Abercrombie. I totally agree, understand they are sticking to their guns. Other clothers are not. Several competing clothes designers are catering to tough times and slashing the price tags. Long term effect: customers will not pay more later when the economy rebounds. Thus the companies will eventually have to save money on labor and manufacturing, and in the end they will produce poorer quality apparel.  I figure if you can’t afford the likes of Abercrombie, and if they are smart and sticking to their guns, you should wait and save up to buy their clothes if it’s that important to you. Don’t complain they aren’t cheaper—go to American Eagle for the quick, cheap shopping fix if you need one. Don’t encourage the good stores with great products to downgrade. That’s several steps back in time to poorer quality goods across the whole board. You really want clothes from A&F like that of JCP? I hope not.

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