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Every Friday, I post a small insight into running Curio City and/or Blue Hills Editorial Services. My most recent posts are directly below. You can also start with the first post, or use the subject labels to the right to home in on particular topics. Feel free to comment on anything that interests you.
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Friday, June 18, 2010

Happy Fathers Day

Curio City beat last May’s sales either by 68 cents or by $108, depending on whether you believe Excel or Quickbooks. Neither result came close to plan. Turns out that I wasn’t the only disappointed merchant: Retail sales fell by 1.2% nationally – the biggest drop in eight months. However, non-store (i.e., Internet) sales were up by 2%, which is pretty good for big mature businesses (only us little guys can budget double-digit growth). So what are the economy’s prospects as summer settles in?

This week’s last-minute dash to Fathers Day came on weak and late. My new bacon-themed products arrived too late to…um, save my bacon…I’m sure that some dads out there would’ve gotten bacon wallets and bacon belts if I’d pulled together my order a few days earlier, or if the vendor’s old-fashioned order process hadn’t taken five days. Then a large, unexpected non-holiday order for Mini Briefcase Business Card Holders (sku 16, one of my debut products) kicked it comfortably over the top. Next week’s sales target is laughably low…but business (and my paycheck) turns laughably low after Fathers Day, so I'm not sanguine about it.

Dad’s getting Whisky Stones on Sunday, btw. Last week’s report of their impending demise was premature.

Every year, the Fathers Day surge resolves me to set aside my own feelings about Hallmark Holidays and make a push for next Mothers Day. And then every May I either forget about it entirely or blow it off as a triviality. Idiot. These made-up holidays drive the sales calendar, and I’m foolish to downplay them out of personal disinterest.

Anyway, Curio City has already beaten last June and should make plan easily (numbers are coming next week). New England is growing more robustly than the rest of the country due to several advantages:

  • We prefer older homes to new construction, so we escaped the housing crash that afflicted the sprawl states
  • Our biggest economic sectors are health care (which is obviously swimming in money) and technology, which picks up when business starts expanding again
  • Yankee thrift kept us less indebted than most Americans
  • Democrats are in charge – as one of their main power bases, Boston always prospers under Democratic governments and suffers under Republicans.
  • Because land is comparatively expensive here, we didn’t overbuild big-box retail stores or office towers, so vacancies are filling up and rents are stabilizing. (Apparently some people still shop in stores.)

The state has added jobs for the past four months, and Anne’s marathon job search has quickened over the past couple of weeks. There is at least a small chance that a job offer will materialize before COBRA expires. All in all, a feeling of normalcy is returning here. Morning in America, and all that tommyrot.

Since Curio City’s physical location hardly matters…So what? The national economic news hasn’t been encouraging. Readers in more benighted areas should take heart. If Curio City is any indicator, June should look sunnier all over.

1 comment:

  1. If you're serious about marketing them, set up a calendar entry (outlook or google calendar) that will email you a reminder link. But instead of just using the holiday, link to some sales figures or your blog post.


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