I got off from work a little bit earlier today, so I've actually got a little bit of free time here. I'm pretty much just sitting around eating pretzels, so I might as well post about things are going lately.
Work. Of course, hours are up with the holiday season and all. But what's shockingly not up so far is sales. After a strong Black Friday, our volume has dropped way off to where last week was absolutely terrible. I mean, just way off from where it ought to be for this time of year. Remember, I work commission so I do actually care how much the store sells. We consider ourselves to be good salesmen, and the product's pretty good, so there has to be an outside reason for the low sales. This has led to all kinds of theories.
- The mall's target demographic. Affluent shoppers are sticking with Southpark, as it still has a high prestige attached to it. If we can't attract the shoppers we are supposed to, that is a problem. And remember, outsite the I-77 corridor there is mostly sparse, poorer demographics who aren't going to be buying Coach handbags (or $110 Wallabees for that matter).
-Design of the mall. I've had people tell me they disliked it as too "angular", and malls in general are on the way out anyway- people are getting too lazy to actually walk through a mall (I'm serious)
-Poor Promotion- there still seems to be a large amount of people who don't know that the new mall is there. There has been pretty heavy print and radio advertising for the mall, but still a lot of folks don't seem to be getting the message.
- The actual customers. My manager theorizes that everyone is 'house-poor'- all their money is tied up in their house and car, leaving little else to spend.
- People think the mall will be so crowded, that they don't even want to bother going. I've heard this from several customers. It's not helped by the fact that the front parking lot is always full, because people don't want to drive around to the other side- creating an illusion of a packed mall.
-The big thing this year is electronics- iPod, Xbox, DVD, whatever if it doesn't have an acronym it's not selling. I guess things like shoes are too old fashioned for Christmas gifts.
-But finally, and most probable, people are just being cheap this year. Either it's a sale, or they're not buying. Customers are also staying very disciplined this year as well, apparently- they know exactly what they are going to get, and that's it. I'm gonna have to blame high gas prices and the fact that most people aren't feeling too hot about the economy. Which leaves me feeling cold each Friday when paychecks arrive.