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Anyone notice a decrease in spending?
Old 10-26-2008, 11:08 PM   #1
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Anyone notice a decrease in spending?

I suppose we are in a recession, I hear it on the news daily. Large losses in portfolios, etc.
But has anyone noticed a decrease in spending in their area?

It seems the stores and resturants in my area are still crowded and as busy as the last 10 months. Heck I even had a 20 minute wait for a table at The Olive Garden on a Thursday for lunch.

Anyone see a cutback in activity besides their own?
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Old 10-26-2008, 11:20 PM   #2
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Not really. Most restaurants and stores we go to seem to be fairly busy. However, I have one waitress friend who says tips are down, and another who works for a non-profit says donations are down too. I'm not sure if these are reflective of society as a whole, or just impressions.

I think the cutback is more likely to be in big ticket items. We've been shopping for furniture for our new townhouse, and have been able to get even better bargains than usual. DW has always been able to bring salesmen to tears, but she says they are bending over backwards to make sales now.
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Old 10-27-2008, 06:48 AM   #3
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Yes we do. We are retired so when we visit local stores (Wal-Marts, Targets, Kroger, Giant Eagle, Sears (and other stores in our local Malls)) we really notice parking lots and store traffic. We are also noticing more "For Lease", "Space Available" signs on local commercial sites that when we first came to this area (over 3 Years ago). Maybe it is the weather turning cooler here in the Mid-West and not the economy at all!
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Old 10-27-2008, 07:14 AM   #4
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We're retired and ultra-conservative and we are not eating out as much or making any large purchases at this time. We plannned to take the Alaska Cruise next spring but now we are opting to take a wait & see approach for the next 3-4 months to see how this crisis plays out.

When I see articles about Insurance companies needing bail out assistance, etc, etc., I get even more cautious (hard to imagine)
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronnieboy View Post
I suppose we are in a recession, I hear it on the news daily. Large losses in portfolios, etc.
But has anyone noticed a decrease in spending in their area?

It seems the stores and resturants in my area are still crowded and as busy as the last 10 months. Heck I even had a 20 minute wait for a table at The Olive Garden on a Thursday for lunch.

Anyone see a cutback in activity besides their own?
I'm in a somewhat rural area of MO and don't frequent the shopping and restaurant areas, quite frankly, so I don't really know.

To add perspective, where are you? I imagine that the hard hit areas of CA, NV and FL would be the worst.
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:00 AM   #6
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Our habits or such that identifying traffic trends in stores would be near impossible. We seldom shop on the same day or at the same time. Heck, we don't even shop in the same town week to week or same Walmart. We don't eat out often enough to use that as a guide.
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:14 AM   #7
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I live in one of those "hard hit" areas. The number of people in restaurants and people out and about is noticeably lower.

I used to wander around the auto dealers once in awhile for entertainment. I don't do that much anymore cause it's just too depressing. Those big dealerships are ghost towns waiting to fail. A few of the dealerships have already failed. Those salesguys are beyond hungry. They are desperate.

Hard times are upon us.
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:34 AM   #8
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I find that here in the city restaurants are still packed, but when I visit the areas hardest affected by the housing bust like Sacramento exurbs it's really bad. Malls are nearly empty and they seem to have reduced staffing to the bare minimum so even though you're practically the only customer in the store you can't find anyone to help you. It looks like a death spiral out there.
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:42 AM   #9
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Here in CT the restaurants are still busy but the Casino's have had to cut back on help due to falling revenues. Bear in mind that the market is looking 6 to 9 months ahead and anticipating the economy then. I suspect the layoffs will begin in earnest by the end of the year and continue into the spring and summer.

Check the restaurants in the spring for a good gauge of where we are then.
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:42 AM   #10
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We have noticed fewer customers at some big box stores, and that those who are there don't seem to be buying much.

It is difficult to tell at the smaller shops.

There may be slightly fewer at local restaurants. We haven't had to wait for a seat, lately. Saturday night we were the only customers at our favorite Cajun/Italian restaurant at 7 PM, but it was a little early and the owner said he thought it would fill up as soon as the LSU game was over.
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:48 AM   #11
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One of my roommates works as a waiter/bartender, and this past week was actually his best week EVER! So while discretionary spending may be down, he sure isn't noticing it! He works in Bowie, Maryland.
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:55 AM   #12
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I've seen no change in my neck of the woods. Restaurants and stores as busy as ever.

I've heard that the local luxury car dealers are struggling though.
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:59 AM   #13
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here in the middle of Nowhere NY, it's hard to tell cuz we are a historically depressed area to begin with. the local casino continues to pack 'em in, and new hotels are being built nearby. local house builds continue.
i'm not a frequent shopper, so no data on that. we are still pulling way back on discretionary spending with winter heating costs looming. but i did make dh2b's day by sending him a sears tool chest sale e-notice. it was a deal we couldn't pass up. an early xmas present...
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:07 AM   #14
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No. But robberies in my area seem to be up.
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:12 AM   #15
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Another question, could it be that we find what we are looking for, and, what we find depends on our outlook of the economy?
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:19 AM   #16
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I've found that the mall is still busy at lunchtime so I am assuming that everyone is still eating their lunch.

However I have noticed that when it comes to buying in the stores there does not seem to be a lot of competition for attention from the retail clerks. I was in Pottery Barn last week making a purchase and I spoke to the clerk about how quiet it was and she mentioned that it is dreadfully quiet and has been for weeks. I did notice the demographics of the shoppers that were carrying around bags and they seemed to be like me - middle age women. So maybe the youngsters are staying on the sidelines at the moment.
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:32 AM   #17
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No. But robberies in my area seem to be up.
I think crime is up quite a bit.
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:49 AM   #18
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Sales are down, but I STILL can't get anyone at Home Depot to help me..........on to Lowes.........
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Old 10-27-2008, 12:13 PM   #19
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Sales are down, but I STILL can't get anyone at Home Depot to help me..........on to Lowes.........
Where I live, it's the opposite (Lowes seems to not have employees).

Like some others, my shopping patterns are not such that I would notice a downturn. The number of closed stores in general has slowly been increasing over the last several years. Some places are hiring.
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Old 10-27-2008, 12:17 PM   #20
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Interesting Thread. Would be nice if the responders would mention their location.

City and State.


Thanks.
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